Chr. Hansen Holding A/S has entered an agreement with Thomas Schäfer to take on the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Schäfer is currently employed as Vice President at Novozymes and will join Chr. Hansen Holding as soon as possible, expected during the spring of 2017. He will report to the CEO and become a member of the Executive Board.
Schäfer completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology, Physiology & Biochemistry and worked as Assistant Professor at Freie Universität Berlin. He started his career in Novozymes as a PostDoc in 1994, and while there held various senior leadership positions in R&D. Since 2013 Schäfer has been based in the US.
Schäfer has more than 20 years of experience in Industrial Microbiology, R&D, Innovation, Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions, covering both bacteria and enzymes. He has published several papers and is the co-inventor on several patents.
Schäfer will lead Chr. Hansen’s scientific organization for Food Cultures and Enzymes and for Health and Nutrition (the R&D organization for the Microbial Solutions Platform). This organization consists of 210 employees, largely based at company headquarters in Denmark.
Including Schäfer into the Executive Board is a signal of the importance Chr. Hansen places on its innovation and science as an area critical in securing continuous growth.
“In hiring Thomas, Chr. Hansen brings onboard a very skilled and business-oriented technology leader with international experience. The overall goal of the R&D Microbial Platform is to secure a common and strong scientific backbone within industrial microbes that can sustain new innovations for the Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition Business Units and support Chr. Hansen’s undisputed leadership in bacterial fermentation technology,” says CEO Cees de Jong.
“I really look forward to joining Chr. Hansen. I have followed the fantastic growth of this company for many years, so it is great to become a part of the journey,” says Schäfer.
Once Thomas has joined, the Executive Board will consist of: CEO Cees de Jong, CFO Søren Westh Lonning, COO Knud Vindfeldt, and Schäfer.