VIKING Managing Director Dr. Peter Pretzsch has been appointed by the Advisory Board of STIHL AG to take over as Chief Development Officer from 1 July 2018. The gardening power tool manufacturer VIKING based in Langkampfen has been a fully owned subsidiary of the German STIHL Group since 1992. Dr. Peter Pretzsch is replacing the former STIHL Chief Development Officer Wolfgang Zahn, who assumed the role in July 1999 and is now leaving the company due to having reached retirement age. Mr. Zahn's tenure not only saw the development of the STIHL battery technology, but also the launch of world's firsts and numerous innovations.
Dr. Pretzsch has been VIKING Managing Director since 2011. Under his leadership, the site was extensively expanded and significant growth was achieved. Before this, the Doctor of Engineering spent more than 20 years in senior positions at the STIHL headquarters in Waiblingen. His new role therefore heralds a return to his old workplace.
Dr. Clemens Schaller takes over as VIKING Managing Director
Dr. Clemens Schaller is set to take over as Managing Director of VIKING on 1 June 2018 when Dr. Peter Pretzsch joins the STIHL Executive Board. In his current role at STIHL, Dr. Schaller is responsible for coordination with Globe Tools, a Chinese manufacturer of electrical and battery-powered products. The STIHL Group acquired a 35 per cent stake in Globe Tools in May 2016. Dr. Schaller studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University (Germany), completed a doctorate at TU Dortmund University and is a seasoned executive with international experience. Since 1988, he has worked at numerous sites of Robert Bosch GmbH and BSH Hausgeräte GmbH at home and abroad and held positions of responsibility in production. In his most recent role, Dr. Schaller was responsible for BSH's global dishwasher production arm.
VIKING GmbH produces and sells lawn mowers, robotic mowers, ride-on mowers, scarifiers, garden shredders and tillers. VIKING is a member of the STIHL Group and assembles most of the battery-powered range for the entire STIHL Group at its site in Tyrol. In 2016, VIKING achieved a turnover of EUR 266.9 million with 414 employees. Distribution is carried out exclusively via specialist service-providing dealers.
The STIHL Group develops, produces and sells power tools for forestry and agriculture as well as landscape cultivation, construction and discerning home users. Its product range is complemented by the VIKING gardening power tool range. In 2016, STIHL achieved a turnover of EUR 3.46 billion with 14,920 employees worldwide.