Tragedy struck early in 2014, when the Mayer-Kuvert-network’s executive partner Edlef Bartl unexpectedly passed away. Edlef had been instrumental to the organisation’s incredible growth and eventual domination of the envelope industry. The eight-person management team, which Edlef had established, has taken charge of the organisation, with Thomas Schwarz stepping up to the role of CEO. The CEO Magazine spoke with Thomas about his transition into the top job, and his plans to grow the company in a shrinking industry.

The CEO Magazine: Please tell us about your professional background up to when you took on the role, and how you think your experience is influencing your approach towards it.

Thomas: After my studies in business engineering in Karlsruhe and Toronto, and after a few years working as a consultant for organisational and process optimisation, I joined the industry in 2001, first as a consultant and since 2003 as managing director of a company, which was finally acquired by Mayer-Kuvert-network back in 2008. From there, I held the position of managing director at several entities within our group, which gave me the chance to grow into those responsibilities. Therefore in 2013, when I took over the co-CEO role, I already had quite some experience.