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Sumitomo (SHI) Demag CEO Steps Down

Plastics industry veteran Gerd Liebig has announced that he will retire, effective Sept. 1.

Norbert Sparrow

February 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Left to right: Gerd Liebig, Tetsuya Okamura, Andreas Schramm from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag.
Gerd Liebig (left) is shown here in 2016 when the announcement was made that he would succeed Tetsuya Okamura (middle) as CEO. Then Chief Technical Officer Andreas Schramm is pictured on the right.Image courtesy of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag

A 35-year veteran of the plastics industry, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag CEO Gerd Liebig has announced that he is retiring effective Sept. 1. He is not completely stepping away from the industry nor shared aspirations, however. 

Liebig took over the reins of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in 2017, after a circular career path that took him from Demag Plastics Group, where he spent 15 years in lead marketing positions, until leaving to become head of marketing at Austrian injection molding machine maker Engel in 2006. Demag was acquired by Sumitomo in 2007, and Liebig returned to the company in 2015.

Passion for company and employees

During Liebig's nine-year tenure as managing director, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag became the global market leader for all-electric machines, underpinned by a strong industry focus, the company said in the announcement of Liebig’s retirement. His leadership can best be characterized by “his immense passion for the company and its employees, in addition to his steadfast allegiance to the plastics machinery industry,” said the press release.

"I am very grateful for the high level of support, respect, and trust always shown to me by the owners, my team, and colleagues. We have forged some of the strongest professional relationships, mentoring and subsequent friendships with colleagues around the world," said Liebig in a prepared statement.

Related:Sumitomo (SHI) Demag names Gerd Liebig as its new CEO

New management team will be announced this summer

The new management team will be formed from within the company's own ranks, said Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, adding that it will be announced this summer.

Although he may be retiring from his job, Liebig isn’t divorcing himself from the plastics industry and will continue to support associated “activities that give me the greatest pleasure,” he said. “My commitment to combating climate change and to the energy transition is paramount," said Liebig. "I won't be retiring completely from the plastics industry, which has played an important role for more than half of my life and which I was also able to help shape to some extent.”

Liebig also noted that he will remain a part of Sumitomo, contributing his expertise and industry knowledge to the group to a “limited extent and without operational responsibility."

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has its global headquarters in Schwaig, Germany, and has four offices in the United States, including its US headquarters in Suwanee, GA.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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