Franz Kook, CEO, Duravit, has stood down from the position after 41 years, handing over responsibility to his successor Professor Dr. Frank Richter.
The 65-year-old played a major role at Duravit both in design and innovation development.
“For me, the most important thing is to spend some time with my wife, who has been very generous in putting up with me spending far too much time at the office,” he said.
His successor, Richter (aged 48), took over as chairman in January. He had already moved into an office on the management floor in Hornberg in September last year to prepare for the role.
Kook said the most important decision the company made while he was CEO was to move into the design market 25 years ago, to develop its lines to cover everything from jeans to dinner jackets.
“This gave the design sector within our industry a completely new meaning and a new dimension. This is how the “Living Bathrooms” slogan came about. We wanted a phrase which was easy to understand and easy to remember,” he added.
“The idea was to create a connection to Duravit which was sympathetic and inspirational. The slogan is deliberately ambiguous. The most important element is our commitment to improving life in the bathroom. The second meaning is: there is always something going on in a Duravit bathroom.
“Overall I see the future of the sanitation market as very bright. For many people, the bathroom is a focus of renovation work and new products can turn a bathroom into a room you want to live in.”
Richter said he plans to ‘write more chapters in the success story’.
“But we cannot afford to relax. We need to live out our brand promise to our customers on a day-to-day basis. I think market and customer focus is really important,” he said.