Generation change at Simba Dickie
by Friedhelm Weidelich
Photo: Lisa Gimpel/Simba Dickie Group
Often, family businesses were built up by patriarchs who do not manage to make the jump even at an advanced age. They dominate their heirs without allowing for their own experience, innovation and trial and error. These children are then correspondingly unprepared when they are supposed to continue running the business. It is not uncommon for these businesses to fail.
At the Simba Dickie Group from Fürth near Nuremberg, Germany, things obviously turned out differently. Excerpt from the press release:
In order to secure the future of a family business, it is important to set the course in good time and successfully prepare for the generational change. Michael Sieber founded Simba Toys together with his father Fritz in 1982 and developed it into the internationally active Simba Dickie Group, which he has headed as CEO ever since. He planned the generational change early on in order to make his company fit for the future. As early as 2018, Florian Sieber became his designated successor and Co-CEO of the Simba Dickie Group. Since 2013, he has also been responsible for the fortunes of model train manufacturer Märklin as Managing Partner.
"Together with a dedicated team in Göppingen, my son Florian has put Märklin back on track - his masterpiece, and I am very proud of him. He has grown into his new, responsible position at the Simba Dickie Group well prepared and very motivated. I trust that with his knowledge and the perspectives of a new generation, he will successfully lead our family business into the future." Michael Sieber will retire from operations as CEO at the end of the Simba Dickie Group's fiscal year at the end of April, but as a shareholder he will continue to provide support and contribute his experience.
As of May 1, 2021, Florian Sieber will be CEO of the Simba Dickie Group. As of May 1, 2021, the Board of the Group will consist of Florian Sieber as CEO and, as usual, Manfred Duschl as CFO and Uwe Weiler as COO. Florian Sieber is looking forward to the new task: "For some years now, we have been actively shaping the generational change together at the Simba Dickie Group; it is a smooth transition. I am very grateful to my father that he never put any pressure on me when it came to the question of company succession, but always stood by with advice and support when I was looking for assistance. I have great respect for the new responsibility I am taking on for our family business, but I am also looking forward to the new challenges and tasks."
Michael Sieber chose the timing of the generational change deliberately: "The end of the fiscal year marks the 40th year of existence of Simba Toys, which I founded with my father. Even in the challenging times we are currently going through, our group of companies is now solid and economically strong. The best conditions to hand over the helm to my son!"
As one of Europe's top five toy manufacturers, the Simba Dickie Group is active around the globe with 2,950 employees. Founded in 1982 by Fritz and Michael Sieber, the family-owned company generated sales of €715.0 million in 2020. The diverse range of toys includes more than 4,000 articles, ranging from the well-known BIG-BOBBY-CAR and Schuco collector models to the Steffi Love dress-up doll from Simba Toys and wooden building blocks from Eichhorn or toy cars from Majorette and Dickie Toys.
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