Friede to succeed Nejade as COO of Brenntag Specialties
Photo of Michael Friede courtesy of Brenntag Specialties

Friede to succeed Nejade as COO of Brenntag Specialties

Michael Friede will succeed Henri Nejade as chief operating officer (COO) of Brenntag Specialties, who has chosen not to extend his contract by the end of June 30, 2023.

During his 15 years with the company, Nejade has served Brenntag Group as CEO APAC, CEO EMEA and most recently, COO Brenntag Specialties.

In the course of its long-term succession planning, the Supervisory Board of Brenntag SE, the global chemical distributor based in Essen, Germany,  also appointed Friede to the company’s Management Board, effective April 1, 2023. 

Friede joins Brenntag from Akzo Nobel N.V., where he is a member of the company’s Executive Committee, serving as chief commercial officer – Performance Coatings. He has been responsible for all global coatings and resins activities since 2021. In addition, Friede leads the company’s central commercial and marketing excellence functions. Furthermore, he is a member of the M&A and investment committee. 

Previously, Friede served as EVP, Business Unit Head Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties of COVESTRO Deutschland AG, leading one of Covestro’s three global business units. Furthermore, as a member of the Digital Governance Board, he was driving the company’s digitalization and worked on the successful implementation of COVESTRO’s M&A program. In 2020, he led the acquisition and prepared the integration of DSM’s Resins and Functional Materials business. 

Friede completed a dual trainee program at Bayer AG, where he held various positions from 2001 to 2014. He graduated from the University of Applied Sciences for Economy & Management, Essen, and received an International MBA from the Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, Spain.

“We are very pleased to welcome Michael Friede to Brenntag. The Supervisory Board is convinced that he will ideally complement and enrich the Board of Management team due to his proven market knowledge and many years of international management experience and that, together with his colleagues, he will further drive the strategic development of Brenntag Specialties,” said Doreen Nowotne, chair of the Supervisory Board of Brenntag SE.

“I have come to know Michael Friede as a highly qualified, insightful executive with a profound understanding of the specialty chemicals sector. His international experience, his strong expertise in M&A and post-merger integration, as well as his leadership capabilities greatly complement our ambitious plan to further expand Brenntag’s position as the world’s largest specialty chemicals and ingredients distributor. I look very much forward to welcoming him to our management team,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, chief executive officer, Brenntag SE.

“I would like to thank Brenntag’s Supervisory Board for their trust in me. Brenntag’s success story is one that I have been following closely for a long time. I am honoured to soon be part of the Brenntag team and look forward to contributing my knowledge, skills, and experience, especially at Brenntag Specialties,” said Friede.

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