Haitian, a global supplier of machinery for the plastics processing industry, has announced the retirement of its international Executive Director and Chief Strategic Officer, Helmar Franz. Franz, who reached the age of retirement in January 2015, worked for the China-based company for 10 years. He will continue to serve as a Board Member of Haitian International in the capacity of a non-executive Director, acting as a strategic consultant to the companies of the Haitian group. His focus will continue to be on Haitian’s growth in China and the worldwide markets.
Franz was a well-known figure in the German plastics machinery world, when he was hired by Haitian in 2005 to oversee the business strategy and development of the Haitian Group. After earning a degree in engineering for plastics equipment in Moscow, he started his career at Plastmaschinenwerk Schwerin in the former German Democratic Republic in 1972 as a Senior Executive in research and development and marketing. In 1985, he became the Managing Director for WWW Import- Export's sales and services in Iraq, Egypt and Russia, after which, in 1991, he joined Demag Ergotech, initially as the Managing Director for Demag's sales and services branch in Moscow, Russia and later as the Managing Director for Demag's manufacturing plant for small machines in Wiehe, Germany.
He was named Chairman of Demag in 1999. He moved to Haitian in 2005, where, amongst other roles, he became the Sole Managing Director of Zhafir Plastics Machinery GmbH, Haitian International’s production site in Germany for its all-electric injection molding machines. His son, Steffen Franz, took over that role together with Zhang Bin, the son of Haitian International Executive Director and CEO Zhang Jianming, in 2013.
Following the retirement of Helmar Franz, Zhang Jianming will take over the responsibility for the further strategic development of Haitian International. The other operational responsibilities previously under Prof. Franz’s direction in research and development, export markets and marketing will be assumed by the respective top management members.
In 2002, Franz became an honorary professor at the University of St. Petersburg.