Dirk Brouwers Dussmann's CEO Steps Down

Dussmann chief executive Dirk Brouwers has resigned after leading the facility management multinational better known for its huge bookstore in the heart of Berlin and increasing revenue by a third in five years.
Mr. Brouwers joined Dussmann’s board in 2005 and became the company’s chief executive six years later.

Dussmann, a facility management company based in Berlin, has announced an unexpected change at the top. The company’s chief executive, Dirk Brouwers, and finance manager Hans-Jürgen Meyer, left the group on Thursday with immediate effect.

The company said the decision was made in mutual agreement.

With a changed management team, Dussmann wants to “pursue new paths in the operating business and push for new orientation towards more growth,” the group said in a press release.

Until a new chief executive is hired, Jörg Braesecke, who is in charge of the group’s historic care center division, will act as the company’s manager.

Mr. Brouwers, 50, is a mechanical engineer and a former business consultant who within a few years became one of ThyssenKrupp’s senior executives. He then switched to Dussmann’s board in 2005 and became the company’s chief executive six years later.

Within five years under Mr. Brouwers’s leadership, Dussmann’s revenue jumped by a third.

A company with 63,000 employees, established in Munich in 1963 by the late Peter Dussmann, the group is famous in Berlin for the large bookstore it opened in 1997 on Friedrichstrasse, a busy shopping street in the center of the German capital.

But the megastore’s €36 million in sales pale in comparison with the company’s total revenue of €2.1 billion, which it mostly derives from its core business, facility management. The group also operates nursing homes and is present in 16 countries.

After Mr. Dussmann’s death, his U.S.-born widow, former actress Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann, remained as the head of the supervisory board and of the group’s foundation.

Within five years under Mr. Brouwers’s leadership, Dussmann’s revenue jumped by a third.

However, in recent months, the mood had soured within Dussmann’s senior management due to disagreements about the group’s strategic direction.

 

Jean-Michel Hauteville is an editor with Handelsblatt Global in Berlin. To contact the author: [email protected].