Willi Berchtold, 54, will take over the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of ZF Friedrichshafen AG from Paul Ballmeier, 61, who is retiring in 2005. Currently, he is CFO and Executive Vice President for Finance and IT. He has been member of the board of management for the worldwide leading automotive supplier since January 1996.
Berchtold is currently a member of the supervisory board of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Since 1998, he has been Chairman of Management Board of Giesecke & Devrient GmbH in Munich, a safe exchange technology specialist, providing printing machines and currency processing for bank notes and securities, as well as smart-cards and electronic payments.
Berchtold, with a degree in business administration and economy, began his career in 1978 at IBM. Until 1998 he held various management positions within Germany and abroad, including managing director of IBM Germany and general manager for the entire service business of IBM Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Eastern European countries.
During 2003, he became President of the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunication and New Media, called BITKOM, an association that formed in 1999. In addition, he is a chairman of the economy advisory board of the scientific institute for communication-technology and is a member of the supervisory boards of the German Fair AG and LH Systems GmbH.
Ballmeier shaped the development of ZF during the past few years and has given the company a solid financial foundation. He, along with Max Mugler, played a major role in the integration of Lemfoerder — now the passenger car chassis technology division of ZF.
ZF acquired 51% of all shares of Lemfoerder Matallwaren AG and Lemfoerder Fahrwerktechnik AG & CO from the Ulderup family in 1984, and later increased up to 76%. With the 2003 acquisition of all shares, the Dr. Juergen Ulderup foundation exchanged its past share of 24% of ZF Lemfoerder for 6.2% in ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
Paul Ballmeier has been actively involved with Lemfoerder Metallwaren AG since 1971, first as a director of balances and taxes. In 1975 he became head of finance and accounting, before taking over the finance and commercial administration department in 1985. In 1989, he became Chairman of the management board of Lemfoerder Metallwaren Juergen Ulderup AG & Co. and in 1990 executive chairman of Lemfoerder Metallwaren AG.