Effective June 30, Bernd Kullmann will step down as managing director of Deuter, the German backpack company. He has served the company for nearly 27 years. The 58-year-old began back in 1986 as regional sales representative and was quickly promoted to the position of sales and marketing director. He became managing director seven years ago, when the entrepreneur Michael Franke sold the company to Schwan-Stabilo.
Kullmann told this publication that it is time to reduce responsibilities, but he will stick to the group as managing director of the Schwan-Stabilo Outdoor company (SSO), which acts as interface between the outdoor-oriented subsidiaries, Deuter and Ortovox, and the Schwanhäusser Stabilo holding company. At the top of SSO, a role that he took on last July, he will continue to look into the possible acquisition of other outdoor brands and will explore opportunities for synergies between the outdoor brands. For example, parts of the production of Ortovox goods have already been shifted to Deuter's longtime partner factory in Vietnam.
His successor as managing director of Deuter will be Martin Riebel, 49, who has been joint chief of SSO, along with Kullmann, since last July. The former executive of Gore-Tex and Helly Hansen will keep that position with SSO, but he will mainly focus on the operaiing business of Deuter.