There have been a few developments in the management structure at Recaro Aircraft Seating, involving some familiar faces – and a new one. October will see René Dankwerth, the company’s long-standing EVP of R&D and executive board member, take the reins as general manager of Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas. Dankwerth will be a difficult act for his successor to follow, with highlights of his R&D work including reducing failure cost and quality findings by 50% within two years of taking the role, overseeing “significant” improvement of supply chain quality, and introducing Total Quality Management (TQM) methods. He later became a member of the executive board for R&D and was instrumental in the development and the ramp-up the CL3710 long-haul economy seat as well as the CL6710 long-haul business class seat.
So who is filling Dankwerth’s shoes?
August 1 sees Heiko Fricke, a qualified electrical engineer, who has a business track record including 12 years with Daimler’s commercial vehicles business unit and 10 years with Airbus. His range of experience includes OEM, joint venture and Tier 1 projects involving the development of components and systems for vehicles and aircraft, product launches, program management and a focus on efficiency and profitability.
And who is Dankwerth replacing?
Dankwerth succeeds Sunitha Vegerla, who has been in the role for four years and is reported to have led a successful growth strategy at the facility, but according to the company has decided “to take a step back from her role” so she can focus more on family life. Vegerla is taking on a new role in the executive team as director of quality & process management: still an important role, but fewer hours. Dankwerth and Vegerla will work together closely for a transition period of two months before he takes over the position on October 1, 2018.