Kuraray: Gutweiler new member of the Board of Directors

Dr. Matthias Gutweiler, President of Kuraray Europe GmbH, has been appointed with immediate effect to the Board of Directors of Kuraray Co., Ltd., which has its head office in Tokyo, Japan. This was announced by the company on 26 March 2020. Gutweiler is the first person from outside Japan to be appointed to the twelve-member Board of Directors, which is headed by Masaaki Ito, President of the Kuraray Group.

Dr. Matthias Gutweiler (Source: Kuraray)

In addition to his seat on the Board of Directors of the Kuraray Group, Gutweiler will remain Managing Director of Kuraray Europe GmbH. Having obtained his doctorate at the Biochemical Institute of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, Gutweiler began his career in research and development at Hoechst AG in 1988. He subsequently held managerial roles in PVB development and PVOH production at the company. In 2001, the newly established company Kuraray Specialities GmbH acquired the former PVB and PVOH business of Hoechst from the Clariant Group and Gutweiler became Head of Research and Development for the PVOH brand Mowiol, now Kuraray Poval, and the PVB brand Mowital. In 2009 he was appointed Managing Director of Kuraray Europe GmbH – the first non-Japanese member of the extended executive management.

“I see my appointment to the Board of Directors of the Kuraray Group as recognition of the success that we have achieved together at Kuraray Europe in the past years and as a special acknowledgement of the excellent work done by our employees,” said Gutweiler. “Collaboration between the management in Japan and Kuraray in Europe has always been characterised by trust and mutual respect. On this basis, we have been able to provide key ideas that strengthen the company and are reflected in the strategy of the Kuraray Group. We will continue to build on that in the future.”

The Kuraray Group has more than 11,100 employees around the world and is a supplier of industrial polymers and synthetic microfibres. Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG) was established in 1991 and is based in Hattersheim am Main, Germany. It has more than 700 employees in Germany and a further 200 at six other European sites. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuraray. In 2019 its annual sales were EUR 661 million.