Freudenberg-NOK Creates New Executive Team to Replace CEO

Innovative structure leverages cross-functional expertise

Jul 15, 2010, 17:11 ET from Freudenberg-NOK

PLYMOUTH, Mich., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- To further strengthen our market leadership, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership (FNGP) has appointed four senior executives to the newly created Office of the Chief Executive.  The company's top executive team consists of:  Dr. Ralf Krieger, speaker and senior vice president of finance and administration; Mr. Brad Norton, senior vice president of sales and marketing; Dr. Michael Heidingsfelder, senior vice president of operations; and Mr. Yoshindo Masumoto, senior vice president of quality and technology.  The Office of the Chief Executive was created to replace the president and CEO position, most recently held by Dr. Mohsen Sohi, who became a managing partner at Freudenberg & Co. in Germany.  

"The Office of the Chief Executive, although not a common management structure in North America, strengthens and perpetuates the partnership culture upon which Freudenberg-NOK was built," said Dr. Sohi.  "It was created to leverage a diverse group of expertise and leadership capabilities.  The team is focused on positioning the company for new market growth while bringing increased integration and value across our business units."

Dr. Ralf Krieger, previously Freudenberg-NOK's chief financial officer, is now the speaker, Office of the Chief Executive, and senior vice president of finance and administration. He continues to have primary responsibility for finance, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology. He assumed additional responsibilities for human resources, communications and legal. Prior to joining FNGP, Dr. Krieger held several positions with the Freudenberg Group, including managing director for the Freudenberg IT Group and director of mergers and acquisitions for Freudenberg & Co. Dr. Krieger received undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and business, and his Ph.D. in cost accounting, from the University of Mannheim in Germany.

Mr. Brad Norton, Freudenberg-NOK's president of automotive sales and Corteco, is now senior vice president of sales and marketing. Mr. Norton will lead the sales and marketing efforts of the organization and chair the boards of our operations in Mexico and Brazil. He received a degree in finance from Akron University and an MBA from Ashland University, both in Ohio.

Dr. Michael Heidingsfelder, previously the general manager of the gaskets and trading division, assumed the role of senior vice president of operations. In this capacity, he has direct responsibility for manufacturing operations. Dr. Heidingsfelder holds a graduate degree in mechanical engineering and a graduate degree in business administration from the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany and a Ph.D. in technology marketing from the University of Saarland in Saarbruecken, Germany.

Mr. Yoshindo Masumoto, rounds out the Office of the Chief Executive team.  He was previously senior manager for NOK Corporation in Japan, and is now senior vice president of quality and technology. Mr. Masumoto is relocating from Japan and will assume full responsibility for this position in October, 2010.  He holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Sophia University, located in Tokyo.

"Our valued customers continue to rely on Freudenberg-NOK to excel in quality, technology, productivity and service," said Dr. Ralf Krieger, speaker, Office of the Chief Executive, FNGP.  "As a team, the Office of the Chief Executive will support FNGP's goal of leveraging our businesses to be more integrated and competitive in the global market."

About Freudenberg-NOK

Founded in 1989, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership based in Plymouth, Michigan, is known as the world-leading manufacturer of precision-manufactured products for a variety of markets, including automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture and construction, marine, off-highway equipment, energy and recreational vehicles.

Today, Freudenberg-NOK is recognized by its global customers as a valued development partner and technology specialist.  A leader in innovative business approaches, the company was an early adopter of Six Sigma quality practices.  Freudenberg-NOK has earned the reputation as a benchmark in North American lean practices.

Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Company in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan.  Together, Freudenberg and NOK Group Companies make up the world's largest producer of elastomeric seals and custom molded products.  Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership has annual revenues approaching $1 billion.

For additional information, please visit us at

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK