Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Moves Executives Between Businesses and Group Functions

Darmstadt, Germany, January 17, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced new appointments to several executive positions. These appointments involve trans

17 Jan 2017 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Michael Heckmeier to lead Display Materials as of April
  • Friedhelm Felten to head the Pigments business
  • Joachim Christ will succeed Felten as Chief Procurement Officer

Darmstadt, Germany, January 17, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced new appointments to several executive positions. These appointments involve transfers between the businesses and Group functions.

As of April 1, Michael Heckmeier (49), currently Head of the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit, will become Head of the Display Materials business unit within Performance Materials. Display Materials includes the Liquid Crystals business, in which Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the long-standing market and technology leader. Friedhelm Felten (51), who previously headed Group Procurement, will succeed Heckmeier on April 1 as Head of the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit. Both Heckmeier and Felten will report to Walter Galinat, CEO Performance Materials and member of the Executive Board.

Felten will be succeeded as Chief Procurement Officer by Joachim Christ (52), currently Head of Group Controlling & Risk Management, also a candidate from within the company. In his new position, Joachim Christ will report to Kai Beckmann, Chief Administration Officer and member of the Executive Board. The successor to Joachim Christ as Head of Group Controlling will be announced in due course. “We place high priority on further developing our employees and executives. The intended exchange between Group functions and businesses is of mutual benefit and advances our company overall,” said Kai Beckmann, whose Executive Board responsibilities include Human Resources and Procurement.

“The moves show that our employees can grow both within a business sector and across functions and businesses. We are pleased that we could fill these positions with experienced managers from within the company,” said Walter Galinat in reference to the important new appointments. Joachim Christ, who holds a degree in business administration, joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2011. Prior to that, he held various positions within Finance at Hoechst, Aventis and Lanxess.

Friedhelm Felten, who also holds a degree in business administration, joined the company in 2009. Before that he held management positions in Germany and abroad for DHL/Deutsche Post and BASF, among other companies.

Michael Heckmeier, who holds degrees in physics and mathematics, joined the company in 1998 and has served as Head of Liquid Crystals R&D, among other things. As Head of the Pigments business, he successfully restructured the cosmetics activities.


For More Information, contact Markus Talanow

All Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the EMD Group Website. In case you are a resident of the USA or Canada please go to to register again for your online subscription of this service as our newly introduced geo-targeting requires new links in the email. You may later change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the „Merck” name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.


Related News

  1. Press Releases

    Michael Kleinemeier Chairman of our Supervisory Board until the 2024 AGM

    Our Supervisory Board has elected Michael Kleinemeier (66) as its Chairman. He was Member of the SAP SE Executive Board from 2015 to 2020.