Plant Management Succession in Nauen

The Wirthwein family thanked Ulf Sauerwald for his 23 years as plant manager and bid him farewell to his well-deserved retirement. They see his successor Garri Genrich well equipped for future tasks and look forward to further cooperation. At farewell: Udo and Ingrid Wirthwein, Ulf Sauerwald, his successor Garri Genrich as well as Marcus and Frank Wirthwein (from left).


Ulf Sauerwald retires after 23 years as plant manager

Nauen.  Ulf Sauerwald learned his trade from scratch. After his apprenticeship as a toolmaker he went to military, atttended numerous advanced training courses, and studied enginering for plastics and rubber technology. Whatever job he carried out, Ulf Sauerwald remained true to his principles: his interest in plastics, his willingness to assume responsibility, and some kind of pioneering spirit. All these features created a trustful basis between Ulf Sauerwald who grew up in socialism, and the capitalist Udo Wirthwein in 1995. Both with their ‘Prussian virtues‘ worked together for the company’s success. The achievements of the last 23 years are quite impressive. “I have to say, I am somewhat proud of what I have achieved in all these years “, says the ‘retiree’. He is also fond of the expansion of Łódź: “It was just a crazy start-up period for pioneers, where the past met the presence – in a city with a particularly critical history of German-Polish relations.” Ulf Sauerwald could talk about his experiences for hours, yet “the best thing is that I have so lovely and dear colleagues in Poland“.


Who is the man Ulf Sauerwald?

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win“, says Ulf Sauerwald who loves to quote wordly wisdoms with a smile on his face. He is said to be a ‘hard bone’ who, however, has got his heart at the right place. He says that his darkest moments of the last 23 years were those when he had to mourn over colleagues who passed away. In retrospect, he can say that he had wished to have more time for his family. “I have been happily married to my dear wife Christine for 38 years, and I am a proud father to my son Marc and my daughter Marleen”. His two grandchildren Mathilda and Pauline have already given their granddad a job for his retirement: he will finally have to complete their tree house. So his trip around the world will have to wait a little bit, although “my granddaughters will have to give me enough time to travel to Croatia and Lake Baikal and to take a ride on my BMW“, the retiree smiles happily. Retired but not tired, he is going to get engaged for the public welfare: “I would like to become a driver for handicapped people”.


Wishes to his team and successor

“The sense of togetherness got a bit lost due to the size of our group of companies“, regrets Sauerwald whose wish it is that collegiality and the joint responsibility for success will gain more importance again. “I wish my successor the very best, lots of success, and a smart and steady hand.” He asks the entire workforce to revive a sense of togetherness again.


The new plant manager Garri Genrich

Apart from a three-month time-out after his studies Garry Genrich has worked for just one employer: Wirthwein. He even absolved his three-month internship in Nauen, which was necessary to be accepted at TH Brandenburg a.d.H. for the Physical Technology studies. Actually, his career started when he had a hands-on job interview with Ulf Sauerwald in 2013 who said he could imagine Garri to become a project manager – what he did. Soon after Garri Genrich proved his skills and attracted the attention of the Management to qualify him for ‘even higher tasks’. Garri Genrich managed the plant in Sasbach from November 2016 through August 2018. His colleagues in Sasbach received him with open arms and made it therefore easier for him to be partly separated from his family and his two sons Matwej (10 years) and Anton (4 years). “Also my favorite sports activities, sailing and windsurfing, suffered from the long-distance relationship”, admits Genrich. “The only thing is, I needed less time from Sasbach to drive to skiing regions. However, my family comes first. I am really happy to be back home.”

Another big ‘family’ was waiting for him in Nauen, too. “I am really looking forward to my new job”, says Genrich, who considers it a great recognition of the general management that they place their trust in him. He sees one of his key tasks in forming a team for the future that rises up to the challenges of the next years. We keep our fingers crossed for all our colleagues in Nauen and wish them every success.