Governance

The governance of Schmidt Group has alternated between male and female CEOs:

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Governance

The governance of Schmidt Group has alternated between male and female CEOs: Hubert Schmidt and Karl Leitzgen the men, Antonia Schmidt, Antonia and Anne Leitzgen the women. This alternation has strengthened the original humanist values which today have made the Group a flagship for trade and industry, a true business open to the world.

Anne Leitzgen, granddaughter of Hubert Schmidt, the founder, has been CEO since 2006. She works alongside a Management Committee made up of individuals committed to developing and passing on the Group’s culture. Each member makes a point of personally welcoming and absorbing new managers and mentoring them, allowing everyone to endorse that freedom of action so dear to the entrepreneurial DNA of “the house”.

Anne LEITZGEN

Anne LEITZGEN

CEO

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Anne LEITZGEN

CEO

My two daughters, rock music, skiing, nature and a good meal washed down with good wine. Enough to fill my free time – alongside the human adventure made possible by the projects of Schmidt Groupe.

After many enjoyable years spent in the world of PR and marketing, I joined the company founded by my grandfather Hubert Schmidt and then tended by my parents Antonia and Karl with the support of an enthusiastic, dedicated team. I have the pleasure and the honour of contributing to a shared, ambitious venture. Indeed, what we want to do is to contribute to the long-term pleasure and well-being of our customers. And for that to happen, our employees also have to be happy with us.

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Laurent BLUM

Laurent BLUM

General Manager

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Laurent BLUM

General Manager

“Work hard and play hard” as the English say… I’ve always enjoyed living life to the full, and that applies to both work and my private life.

My career path in marketing and sales within major groups has given me the opportunity to discover the world and its wide variety of cultures, and also realise that there is a focal point without which we are nothing, namely people, whether our customers or our employees.

My personal life has also enabled me to travel extensively and visit a number of countries. It started when I went backpacking with friends and it continued as my wife and I tried opening our children’s eyes to the wide and diverse world that surrounds us.

Recently, I stumbled across a new tribe – Schmidt Groupe – a wonderful melting pot of cultures, tradition and modernity. A cauldron of energy, a start-up over… 60 years old where both men and women play a central role, and that is not the only thing that we’re proud of!

Proud to “Be Schmidt”!

Laurence CHRETIEN

Laurence CHRETIEN

Human Relationship Director

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Laurence CHRETIEN

Human Relationship Director

We originally lived in Paris, but Alsace has become the favourite region for me and my kids ever since we moved here in 2009. We were given a warm welcome when we came here and we believe in making the most of the area’s wealth of resources (culture, heritage, gastronomy, wine, etc.), bearing in mind that Alsace stands at the crossroads of Europe!
After spending a number of years working in international groups with their English organisational culture, joining Schmidt Groupe enabled me to discover a people-oriented company with a great family history, a real commitment towards its employees, a unique partnership with our network and especially several values that are close to my heart.
Our Group’s ambition and energy is an everyday source of motivation, and the importance that it places in people allows me to do my great job in the best possible environment!

My ambition:
For several years, Schmidt Groupe has been rolling out a number of projects and initiatives as part of the “Be Schmidt” programme for our employees and the “Human Resources Management” programme for our network partners, which the Group implemented to promote and foster collaboration and innovation… we are currently ready to go even further to reinforce our social and environmental responsibility and align with the ISO 26000 standard to maintain our reputation and status as a leading player for our employees, our partners, our customers and our catchment area.

Thierry SYBORD

Thierry SYBORD

Marketing Director

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Thierry SYBORD

Marketing Director

During my 30 years in the car industry, both in France and abroad, I have had the opportunity to live through many enriching, diverse experiences with manufacturers and in the distribution networks.

After having received so much, I now feel the need to share and to transmit, and the desire to do so in a French mid-cap, family company, driven by development-oriented goals.

My project at Schmidt Groupe is in line with this and is the result of a fortuitous chance encounter with Managing Director Laurent Blum. Because of this encounter, I was immediately able to concur with the Group’s values, as they closely align with my own, and which are represented by Anne, Chairwoman, by employees, and our network of showrooms.

My wife and I have moved to Colmar, in order to live this experience to the fullest, and every day, as I drive past the Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle, I am able to appreciate how lucky I am to have become a part of Schmidt and take part of this amazing human adventure.

Jean-Claude ARMSPACH

Jean-Claude ARMSPACH

Real Estate Director

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Jean-Claude ARMSPACH

Real Estate Director

After nearly thirty years’ professional experience in an industrial company, I had the good fortune to join Schmidt Groupe, whose dynamism and corporate values are close to my heart.
My role as Management Control Director allows me and my teams to participate in the Group’s international development in complete respect for its human dimensions.
Time spent sharing my passion for travel and photography with my family is precious to me. It helps me relax and re-energise and gives me the balance I need to give my very best.

Patrick FABRE

Patrick FABRE

Sales Director Europe

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Patrick FABRE

Sales Director Europe

I have spent 20 years working in the commercial and marketing departments of French, German and Japanese international groups.

For me, joining Schmidt Groupe in 2015 was something self-evident given the unique, exceptional nature of the shared adventure the group is involved in. Here, I have found everything I feel passionate about and that suits my character: strong human values based on respect, openness, trust and goodwill; an insatiable desire for innovation; the blend of industrial and retail aspects; optimised product and service solutions; and the obsession with Customer satisfaction.

Enjoyment and the individual nature of our relations with our Customers and our Dealers and Business Partners are at the heart of my job and that of my teams. We pour every drop of energy into consolidating our leading position in France and boosting our international development.

I am fortunate and happy to see every day that at Schmidt Groupe, a leader constantly in search of long-term progress, we have immense potential for growth in all our families of products, all our regions, all our brands.

To recharge my batteries: my family, a randori of judo, jogging in the forest, a good wheat beer or a glass of late-harvested gewurztraminer.

Wolfgang THORWART

Wolfgang THORWART

Product Development Director

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Wolfgang THORWART

Product Development Director

German by birth and an engineer by trade, at the end of my studies I fell in love with a “small kitchen manufacturer” in the Alsace that had big ambitions. I joined a small, courageous team that was starting out on a great adventure of ambitious projects and is still going 30 years later.
After 15 years in the Production and Engineering fields, the company offered me a completely new direction in my professional life by giving me responsibility for product development. My current challenges are to get to know what customers really want so that we can develop the most attractive solutions possible for them. To bring out the very best from our product range in order to develop our long-term position as leader in a competitive market – that is what I am passionate about. 

Olivier OFFNER

Olivier OFFNER

Industrial Director

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Olivier OFFNER

Industrial Director

I attended an SME for my first job interview 20 years ago and since then life has just got faster… 

I started off by purchasing labels and now I spend my time building factories… 

To develop our organisational structures, work with the different teams, introduce large-scale robotics, encourage process innovation: 

All these many industrial projects from the 1/10/100 program have been an exciting challenge for me. 

For some people, our little valley in the Alsace is the back of beyond. For me, who so loves the mountains, the calm of the Vosges helps me recharge my batteries, in particular after my trips to China.

Laurent BELLONI

Laurent BELLONI

Chief Procurement & Supply Chain Officer

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Laurent BELLONI

Chief Procurement & Supply Chain Officer

When I joined Schmidt Groupe 25 years ago, not only did I discover Alsace but also the wealth of opportunities for advancing my career within this wonderful company.
After starting as an engineer and then a methods manager, I climbed the career ladder to become Product Manager, Factory Director, QHSE Director and ultimately Chief Procurement & Downstream Supply Chain Officer (sales distribution).
My current position is almost like going back to my roots, because when I started my career, I was responsible for purchasing tools and equipment!

My job offers a number of challenges:

• Forge strong relations with our suppliers as part of our determination to continually improve quality, costs, delivery times and innovation.
• Prioritise agreements with local economic players, followed by those operating at the national, European and ultimately global levels to promote local employment and reduce the carbon footprint of our supply chain.
• Design and implement supply chain solutions to generate tomorrow’s revenue and satisfy our customers.
Complete customer satisfaction guides our choices and work practices, and customer referrals are our objective.
My life goals involve achieving self-fulfilment through an exciting professional life, a full family life and stimulating leisure activities.

Daniel FREYD

Daniel FREYD

Information Systems Director

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Daniel FREYD

Information Systems Director

I joined the Group in the summer of 2002 as Projects Manager for Industrial IT and Automation. Ever since, my career has followed a wonderful path within “our” family company!

Our Group has given me the opportunity to contribute towards its development by taking part in empowering projects concerning both human resources and the technical side that I like so much.
For example, I have transferred between departments several times to occupy managerial positions in the industrial field, but I have also led enterprise-wide projects, including our OPERA transformation programme.

I have been at the helm of the Information Systems Division since 2019, and my team and I have been determined to act as a real partner to all our internal business functions and our network of showrooms, while creating added value for everyone.

I’m nearly 40 years old and I’ve been fortunate enough to live and travel to various parts of the world! At the moment, I especially enjoy spending time at home with my family or friends over a good meal.

Yvan STEHLY

Yvan STEHLY

Administrative and Financial Director

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Yvan STEHLY

Administrative and Financial Director

The thirst for discovery has caused me to venture down a number of paths.
My professional career, which has mainly been based within France, has given me an insight into many different sectors, such as the service, construction and manufacturing industries. Whether working within small businesses or large organisations, I have given support and guidance to companies with addressing their growth challenges or reinventing their business model in France and abroad. Finance is the ideal place for understanding how the company functions as a whole. The associated responsibility involves providing the necessary management tools, decision support and creativity to embrace challenges and opportunities.
In my private life, the thirst for discovery has also prompted me to explore my own country and many others besides, whether alone or with the family, by car, aeroplane, motorbike or on foot. I’m a firm believer in trying to learn as much about the world as possible.
Depending on the day of the week, there are six, five, four or three of us in our blended family, and they represent an infinite source of pleasure and plenty of challenges as well!
I joined Schmidt Groupe for several reasons: the home living sector in the broadest sense of the word is enthralling, the company is a leader with lots of growth opportunities and stimulating projects, and the employees share an organisational culture that resonates with my own values.
There’s something special about the company. It seems to have an extra spirit that’s rare in today’s companies. All these individual elements work towards the pleasure that comes from contributing to a collective endeavour, one that transcends me as an individual. What more could you wish for?

Pierre DEBENATH

Pierre DEBENATH

Quality Director

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Pierre DEBENATH

Quality Director

“I’ve been loyal to our company since 1991 and I’m happy to say that my career was born in Schmidt Groupe.
In addition to my exciting job, I have two key passions:
– Discovering the different building trades
– Playing football
Both activities are extremely beneficial to me in my everyday work.
Speaking as the owner of a self-built home, I discovered the pleasure that comes from a “job well done”. I’ve been playing football for over 40 years while acting as president of the local football club. It has enabled me to develop my ability to push the boundaries as part of a team and contribute to the development of social and community life.

Schmidt Groupe has given me chance to enjoy a number of exciting and highly varied experiences. Today, this has led to a magnificent view of the extended enterprise through its employees, the products that it sells and the processes that it actions.
Empowered by all these experiences, I’ll never rest until I’ve sown the seeds and helped them grow, so that we can all move forward together.”

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