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Colour portrait of Euge ne Sterken and Rofl Verspuij with 2020 Verta in grey

Rolf Verspuij new CEO

From December 1, 2023, Rolf Verspuij (46, photo right), currently CFOO of office furnisher Royal Ahrend, will take over the CEO position from Eugène Sterken (55, photo left). Under Sterken's leadership, Ahrend has successfully grown over the past 10 years into an internationally leading furnisher of vitalising working environments and during which time the company became more modern and healthier. Sterken has indicated that he is no longer available for a new term and will therefore pass the baton to his successor Verspuij, with whom he has formed a close management team since 2012.

Eugène Sterken worked for Ahrend for a total of 25 years, with a six-year break. After a stay abroad, he made the move from the French Lyreco, back to Ahrend at the end of 2011, first as COO and from mid-2013 as CEO. Under his leadership, Ahrend has since made several acquisitions (including Gispen), expanded internationally and underwent a successful transformation into a leading furnisher of vitalising working environments. With a clear “One-Company” vision and supported by innovative developments of new products and services for increasingly hybrid and digital working environments, the company has become healthier, more sustainable and modern during this period.

His successor and co-board member Rolf Verspuij is currently responsible for Finance, ICT, HR and Supply Chain Management, among other things. In recent years, he led the modernisation of the global supply chain and created an integrated management services organisation.

Joost van Meerbeeck, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Royal Ahrend, explains:

“We owe Eugène recognition and gratitude for what he has meant to Royal Ahrend to date and the inspiring way in which he has led Ahrend in recent years. He successfully steered Ahrend through one of the most difficult periods in its history during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which we quickly responded to the major changes at our customers, including the acceleration in digitalisation and the rise of hybrid working, with new innovations. With his characteristic energy, creativity and endurance, he has expanded the company internationally over the past 10 years, successfully transformed it and made it more modern and healthier in all respects again.”

Rolf Verspuij will formally take up his position as the new CEO of Royal Ahrend on December 1, 2023, Van Meerbeeck said. “Rolf has made a big impression since his appointment in 2012 by creating one global supply chain. He has the right mix of experience and skills to build on the foundation that has now been laid and to continue to realise our ambitions as a leading furnisher of vitalising workspaces. We have already initiated the recruitment procedure for a new CFO.”

Eugène Sterken adds:

“It has been an enormous honour and great pleasure to work as CEO for Royal Ahrend for over 10 years. The achievements made during this period would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, and creativity of all our colleagues worldwide and  I would like to thank them very much for that. Together we worked on our strategic plans with great passion and energy and it is very gratifying that this has resulted in the desired modernisation, international growth and improved profitability.

I am also immensely proud of how we as a company have responded to the major challenges and changes we have faced in recent years. In particular, our people have demonstrated great agility in continuing to support and engage customers globally with a range of new innovations, aimed at prioritising the well-being and productivity of people in an ever evolving hybrid and digital work environment. This has made us more sustainable and relevant than ever before. Ahrend is a wonderful company, with great people and with a promising future. I would like to extend my congratulations to Rolf, with whom I have enjoyed working closely. I am looking forward to passing on the baton to him with care and trust in the coming period.”

Commenting on his appointment, Rolf Verspuij says:

“I am pleased with the confidence expressed by the Supervisory Board with the appointment as the next CEO of Royal Ahrend. We will continue to pursue the strategic direction of the company and further refine it where necessary. I look forward to working with the entire team to continue to develop and improve meaningful products and services for customers, becoming an even better employer and adding long-term value for our shareholders and all our stakeholders. Finally, I would like to thank Eugène for our collaboration and for what he has brought to our organisation.”

Eugène Sterken will remain in office until November 30, 2023 and will continue to carry out or transfer his work both local and internationally until then.