Logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel has appointed Dr Detlef Trefzger as its chief executive officer with immediate effect. He replaces Karl Gernandt, chairman of the company who had also been acting as CEO following the departure of Reinhard Lange in May this year because of health reasons.

Trefzger took up a position on Kuehne + Nagel’s management board in March this year and was responsible for contract and integrated logistics. He will retain this responsibility until further notice, said the company.

Trefzger was previously member of the board for contract Logistics/SCM at DB Schenker, where he also took responsibility for global air and ocean freight. He resigned from that post in December 2012.

During his time there he guided the division through a volatile period for the automotive market, telling Automotive Logistics that this economic difficulty was what shook up the supply chain and allowed DB Schenker to more precisely tailor its services for tier suppliers that might have otherwise lacked the scale and purchasing power to manage logistics for suppliers further down the supply chain.

Trefzger started his career at Siemens and moved to the logistics sector in 1994 as principal at Roland Berger. He joined Schenker in 1999 as chief financial officer and member of the executive board based in Austria.

“In addition to his comprehensive knowledge of the business and many years’ experience in the logistics industry, Detlef Trefzger’s expertise in general management also played a major role in helping us reach a decision,” said Gernandt. “Over the past months he has made significant contributions to the successful implementation of our strategy.”

Gernandt went on to say that he expected Trefzger’s constructive leadership would continue the direction of the company while injecting new ideas to ensure its future success.