Nordzucker Post 01/2022 - 10 February 2022
Axel Aumüller is leaving the Executive Board of Nordzucker on 28 February 2022
As a life’s work, Axel Aumüller characterises his professional career for Nordzucker, its predecessor companies and his voluntary commitment to the entire sugar branch.
He joined the company some 40 years ago as a plant assistant in Baddeckenstedt and, having studied food technology in Berlin, he has been instrumental in driving forward the technical development of sugar production. He has been actively involved in the structural changes in northern Germany that have led to Nordzucker and considers the German reunification with the new factory in Klein Wanzleben and the company’s activities in Poland, Slovakia and south-eastern Europe to be a stroke of luck and a historic opportunity for the company and the society as a whole. The expansion of Nordzucker into Northern Europe and its integration into a group were as important milestones as the latest step in the company’s growth with the acquisition of Mackay Sugar Ltd. in Australia.
After the beginnings of the company headquarters in Braunschweig as Head of Production and Technology at the beginning of the 1990s, Axel Aumüller went to Uelzen for six years as Plant Manager. Significant investments (beet yard, service centre, sugar silo, evaporation dryer) bear his handwriting.
“Along the way” he also managed the first major change program in the company, the Nordzucker Success Programme “Growing Together”. His career then took him back to Braunschweig as a member of the Management Board and Head of Production, initially with responsibility for the German plants, and later also the Eastern and South-Eastern European plants. Soon after the association with Nordic Sugar in 2009, Axel Aumüller was appointed to the Executive Board as COO.
His time as a board member was shaped by the massive changes in the economic and political environment that had already been in prospect since 2006. The transition of the European sugar market from a highly regulated sector to one of the most liberalised markets demanded massive adjustments to the production and work structures in the company; campaigns with 120 days became the norm. On the political side, he accompanied this challenging phase for the entire industry as chairman of the Sugar Industry Association (VdZ).
A special focus is Nordzucker’s involvement in the cane sector and thus the successful acquisition in Australia. This closes a circle for him to his earliest professional experiences in several internships during his studies in a cane sugar factory in Sénégal.
Automation of processes, introduction of process control technology, improvement of working conditions, energy-efficient measures, digitalisation and the change of management structures and leadership behavior in the company and in the sector have always challenged and encouraged Axel Aumüller. His empathy and appreciation have been of benefit to him. These qualities, combined with competence and enthusiasm for technical processes down to the last detail, have provided him with a reputation and recognition beyond the company.
After leaving the Executive Board, Axel Aumüller will be available to the company for another year in an advisory capacity. He will also retain some honorary functions: After retiring as chairman of the Sugar Industry Association (VdZ) in summer 2022, he will continue to head the board of directors at the Company Health Insurance and as chairman of the advisory board of the Stiftung Zuckerindustrie (Sugar Industry Foundation), he will promote the education of young scientists at the Institute for Food Technology and Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin. The focus will shift to his family, his wife Sabine, his children and grandchildren, and activities that were always too short in the past. Where he will be going in the future, spatially, he leaves open. Those who know him are certain that there will be something near the water. We wish Axel Aumüller all the best, health, joy, and well-being.
“On behalf of the Supervisory Board and all shareholders, I would like to thank Axel Aumüller for almost four decades of commitment to our company. Not least in his more than twelve years on the Executive Board, he played a key role in shaping Nordzucker into a successful, future-proof company. With its local roots and its European and global operations, Nordzucker has become one of the leading sugar companies. Axel Aumüller has rendered outstanding services to Nordzucker AG. We wish him all the best for the future.”