Dr Hans Cornehl, Chief Executive Officer of ZEAL Network SE (formerly Tipp24), is to leave the company at the end of the year after informing the Supervisory Board of the company that he did not wish to renew his contract when it runs out on 31 December 2015. After thirteen years on the Executive Board of the company, with a period of four years of those as the CEO, Cornehl is ‘planning to take up new career challenges’.
Cornehl said: “The right time has come to hand over the baton. The company is in an outstanding financial position with excellent prospects for the future. The new growth strategy has started and the first initiatives are beginning to take effect. We have also been able to recruit Jonas Mattsson and Susan Standiford as members of the Executive Board. They are two outstanding managers with truly remarkable professional careers.”
Zeal has moved quickly to appoint Chief Marketing Officer Dr Helmut Becker as Cornehl’s replacement. Before joining the company, Becker held a number of top management positions including Chief Commercial Officer on the Executive Board at XING AG, and various management positions at eBay Deutschland. Up until he joined the Executive Board, he also served as a member of the Supervisory Board of ZEAL for two years.
The firm said that the appointment of Becker as Chief Executive Officer ensures ongoing continuity in the strategy and operational management of the company. Becker said: “We will continue accelerating the expansion of the three strategic divisions of ZEAL, in order to take advantage of the increasing digitisation and changes to the regulatory framework. After a successful start to 2015 with a strong increase in sales and profit, alongside the payment of the first interim dividend in the current year, we are well on our way to generate additional growth and to create added value.”
Andreas de Maizière, Chairman of the Supervisory Board: “Hans Cornehl has played an important role in defining the way forward for the company. When growth started to take off, he was the key player in establishing the platform and ultimately drove forward the expansion in subsequent years. Dr Cornehl has made a significant contribution to forging the long-term business success and creating the special culture prevailing at ZEAL. He has made a big personal commitment and has used creativity and exceptional conviction to pursue new directions in particularly challenging times. Together with his colleagues on the Executive Board, Dr Cornehl has placed the company on an extremely robust financial footing and positioned it for a promising long-term future. In the name of the Supervisory Board, I would like to thank him for his successful work and wish him all the best for his personal life and professional career.
“I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Helmut Becker, a current Member of the Executive Board, as the new Chief Executive Officer. He has a thorough knowledge of the company and has made a major contribution towards developing the current strategy. Customers, employees and shareholders at ZEAL can therefore look forward to a significant measure of continuity in the company management.”
Cornehl joined the Executive Board of ZEAL Network SE – Tipp24 AG at the time – in 2002. In October 2005, he took the company to a listing on the stock exchange and headed the company as sole Member of the Executive Board from October 2009. When the Executive Board was expanded in 2011, he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer. When the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag) came into force in 2009, a complete change in the business model was required. He played a leading role in bringing stability to the company and implementing a realignment. Under his leadership, the German lottery brokerage business obtained an independent listing on the stock exchange in 2012 through a successful spin-off as Lotto24 AG. Over the past two years, he has managed a number of initiatives, including the development of new business segments and relocating the registered office of the company from Hamburg to London.