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Management Shakeup at KraussMaffei

Sinochem’s Chi Zhang takes over as CEO and Ralf Benack is named head of Extrusion EMEA ahead of NPE2024.

Geoff Giordano

January 16, 2024

2 Min Read
Chi Zhang
Chi Zhang, CEO of KraussMaffei.Image courtesy of KraussMaffei

KraussMaffei has appointed Sinochem’s Chi Zhang as its new CEO and Ralf Benack as head of Extrusion EMEA, amid a host of recently announced leadership changes.

Zhang, formerly chairman of KraussMaffei’s supervisory board, took over the role on Jan. 10. In his more than 20 years with Sinochem, Zhang held multiple leadership roles. Since the end of 2022, he was chairman of China National Chemical Equipment Co., which owns the KraussMaffei Group.

"I am very much looking forward to this new role,” Zhang said. “With our new, further-strengthened management team, the support of our main shareholder Sinochem, and the many committed and highly competent colleagues in Germany and around the world, we have the best prerequisites to put KraussMaffei back on the road to success."

Previous CEO Yong Li will now serve in the new position of chief administrative officer, overseeing corporate HR, IT, and audit. Shihao Yang will now head the supervisory board.

Progress made in "challenging" year

"The past year has been very challenging, but with the strong commitment and dedicated efforts of our team we have made some good progress,” Li said. “I would like to thank [Chief Financial Officer] Jörg Bremer and our colleagues for their contribution toward the turnaround. There is still a lot to be done to reach our target, and we will keep moving forward. I will continue to give my best to KraussMaffei and I am looking forward to working with the expanded management board under the leadership of Chi Zhang." 

Related:Nolan Strall Named President of KraussMaffei Corp. North America

Benack, coming from Continental AG, will oversee development of KraussMaffei’s extrusion technology worldwide. At Continental, he was most recently in charge of the company’s tire management solutions business for commercial end users in EMEA.


“I am very much looking forward to becoming part of the KraussMaffei Extrusion team and driving the business forward together with all my colleagues,” Benack said. “Together, we will continue to impress our customers with our innovative extruder solutions.”

Added Zhang: “With his many years of experience in management positions in EMEA and APAC and his expertise in the design, sale, and implementation of integrated solutions for customers, [Benack] will lead KraussMaffei Extrusion EMEA to a next stage and develop the technology together with the global team.”

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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