Christian Junker to step down as Group CEO in the autumn
Deputy Group CEO Henning Haahr to take over.
After 30 years at the top of the Danish Agro group, Christian Junker (64) has decided to step down as Group CEO with effect from 30 September 2017. The Supervisory Board has appointed his deputy and Group CFO, Henning Haahr (46), as the new Group CEO.
Christian Junker took over as Managing Director of Østsjællands Andel in Karise in 1987. This local agribusiness company had 100 employees, a turnover of 40 million EUR and equity of 4 million EUR. Christian Junker led the company successfully through the consolidation wave experienced by the Danish agribusiness sector, expanding through numerous mergers and acquisitions until the group became the second-biggest on the market in Denmark, trading with Danish farmers at about 1.6 billion EUR p.a.
A change of name to Danish Agro in 2007 and international expansion focusing on Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in particular followed. The Danish Agro group now has a presence in 16 countries within a number of agriculture-related business areas. The group is now one of the biggest and most profitable in Europe, employing nearly 5,000 people, with a turnover of 4.3 billion EUR and equity of 600 million EUR.
Christian Junker explained his decision to step down as follows:
"I am unbelievably grateful for my exciting and eventful years with Danish Agro. It's always been a source of pleasure for me to work for and with farmers. We've been able to take the long-term view, succeeding in our joint efforts to transform the business from a small, local agribusiness company into a large, strong and international group with activities in many countries and within many product areas and farming related industries. Danish Agro group now has a strong financial and organisational foundation, of which I am very proud. Furthermore the group has successfully negotiated long-term, strong, strategic alliances, something that has taken us right to the top of the European agribusiness industry. There's no doubt that everything is now in place to secure the group's future progress, and that's why I think this is the right time to let someone new take over," he stated.
Danish Agro's Chairman, Jørgen H. Mikkelsen, expresses every respect for Christian Junker's decision:
"The Danish Agro group has experienced very impressive growth over the last 30 years, benefitting farmers and our owners significantly. The chief architect and visionary driving force has been Christian Junker. He has been a unique and inspirational leader. I understand and respect his desire to step down as Group CEO after 30 years at the top. On behalf of the Supervisory Board and our members, I therefore want to say how grateful we are for all his efforts."
New Group CEO
The Supervisory Board has appointed Deputy CEO and Group CFO Henning Haahr as the new Group CEO when Christian Junker steps down.
"Henning Haahr has been with the group since 2002, with the position of Deputy Group CEO over the last four years. He knows the group intimately, and thanks to working closely with Christian Junker has taken part in decisions concerning the strategic and structural development of the group. The board is convinced that he is the right person to build on the foundations the group currently stands on," stated Jørgen H. Mikkelsen.
Henning Haahr joined the group's subsidiary Vilomix as Finance Director in 2002, from a background as an auditor. His responsibilities have since expanded, including being appointed as Group CFO in 2011, and Deputy Group CEO in 2012. He lives in Hobro, is aged 46, married, and has three children.
Commenting on his new role, he said:
"I am deeply honoured and touched by the trust the board has placed in me. I will do my utmost to carry on the growth and expansion achieved by the Danish Agro group to date. We will do our best to ensure that we are always the first-choice partner for our customers and owners moving forwards."
Christian Junker's final day as Group CEO will be on 30 September 2017, after which Henning Haahr will take over on 1 October 2017.