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CD&R hires Kion Group CEO as operating adviser

Riske will work with CD&R's industrials team in Europe to source investments and advise portfolio companies. 

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice hired Gordon Riske, CEO of Kion Group, as operating adviser. Riske will start in the role on Jan. 1, 2022 after stepping down from his CEO role. Riske will work with CD&R’s industrials team in Europe to source investments and advise portfolio companies.

Press Release

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice announced today that Gordon Riske will be engaged as an Operating Advisor to CD&R funds effective January 1, 2022 after he steps down as Chief Executive Officer of KION GROUP AG, a global provider of materials handling equipment and warehouse automation solutions and software. Mr. Riske will work with CD&R’s Industrials team in Europe to source new investments and advise the funds’ portfolio businesses.

Mr. Riske joined KION Group in 2007, becoming CEO one year later. Under his leadership, the company, headquartered in Frankfurt/Main, has become a leading supplier of warehouse automation and software active in more than 100 countries and with approximately €10 billion in revenue and 40,000 employees. In 2013 he led the successful listing of KION Group on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where its shares are listed in the MDAX index. More recently, Mr. Riske refocused the company’s strategy on the growth sectors of automation, digitalization, high-performance energy systems, and sustainability. Since the global financial crisis in 2009, revenues of the KION Group more than tripled and EBITDA grew almost tenfold during his tenure.

“Gordon is a talented leader with a strong track record of driving growth and operational excellence in industrial enterprises,” said Dave Novak, CD&R’s Co-President who also leads the Firm’s European business. “We particularly appreciate his highly successful repositioning of KION Group towards automation solutions and digital transformation, which we consider highly relevant to our funds’ industrial investment strategy as we continue to invest in building our industry vertical expertise across Europe.”

“The Industrial sector is an important market for our firm, and our goal is to be the preferred partner for families, entrepreneurs, and corporate sellers,” said Björn Killmer, CD&R Partner. “Gordon will reinforce the funds’ efforts to identify attractive investment opportunities, establish trust-based partnerships with sellers, and work closely with management teams to create value in our portfolio companies.”

“CD&R has long been recognized for building strong, growing, and sustainable businesses,” said Mr. Riske. “I look forward to working with the talented CD&R team of investment and operating professionals and contributing to the continued success of the CD&R funds and their portfolio companies across Europe.”

Mr. Riske’s career has included several leadership positions at German headquartered industrial companies. He served as Chairman of the Management Board of Linde Material Handling GmbH, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutz AG, and Chairman of the Management Board of robotics company Kuka Roboter GmbH. He was born in Detroit, USA, and holds and electrical engineering degree from the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Southfield, Michigan, USA. He also holds a BBA from the Oekreal School of Business, Zurich, Switzerland, and participated in an MBA program with the GSBA, Zurich. He is a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Atlas CopCo AB, Stockholm, Sweden, a non-executive member of the Board of Director of Weichai Power Co., Ltd., Weifang, People’s Republic of China, and member of the Executive Board of the non-profit Hertie-Stiftung GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, and Executive Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of approximately $40 billion in more than 100 companies with an aggregate transaction value of more than $175 billion. In Europe, CD&R has been active for more than 20 years and has since invested $10 billion USD in over 20 transactions. Current CD&R Funds’ portfolio companies in Europe are Belron Group S.A. (owner of Carglass brand), Huntsworth, Kalle, Mobilux (parent company of BUT and Conforama France), Motor Fuel Group, SIG, Socotec, Wolseley UK, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, WSH, and UDG Healthcare. The Firm has offices in New York and London.