In 2012, Stefan Heidenreich appeared to be Beiersdorf’s knight in shining armor, ready to rescue the Hamburg-based company from having spread itself too thin.
At the time, Beiersdorf, a consumer conglomerate that makes the Nivea skincare and body care products, wasn’t winning over new customers; its make-up range and natural cream products simply didn’t appeal. Former chief executive Thomas-Bernd Quaas barely had a chance to announce his strategic move toward a pure skincare range before 54-year-old Mr. Heidenreich swept in and took over the reins.
Mr. Heidenreich weeded out the weaker products, bid farewell to pop star Rihanna as brand ambassador, showed old board members the door and ushered in new ones. All successful moves if you look at Beiersdorf’s profits, which have soared by over 40 percent to some €1 billion ($1.06 billion) since he took over. Official numbers will be released this Wednesday.
Currently, the cosmetics and adhesives company is doing so well that plans are underway to build a new company headquarters in Hamburg. However, the chief executive seems unsure what else to do with his earnings.