Creating a new position, the German group has appointed a chief digital officer, Olaf Lamberz, to develop new digital processes and business models and to address new target groups in an increasingly complex market. Reporting directly to the group's chief executive, Michael Winter, he will start with Uvex's sports eyewear sector, where the group operates under the Uvex and Alpina brand names, before taking care of its larger safety segment.
Lamberz comes from Osram, the big German producer of light bulbs, where he served as global head of e-business and digital communication. Prior to that, he was in charge of digital operations for 13 years in the pharmaceutical sector. He began to develop innovative marketing and communication solutions in 1999.
Earlier, Uvex appointed Christophe Weissenberger as executive director of Uvex Sport, reporting to Winter. He joined the company at the end of August, filling a position that was left vacant in March, after Alexander Selch left the company by mutual agreement. Weissenberger spent the last six years as an executive board member of a German sports apparel company, Schöffel, most recently in charge of marketing and sales. He previously spent nearly four years as marketing and sales director at an international sports apparel company, Spyder Europe.
Meanwhile, Alpina Sports has appointed Julia Bauer as its new marketing director, replacing Gunda Häussler, who has been on maternity leave since the end of August. Ludwig Bestler, a journalist for a German biking magazine for the last six years, is supporting Bauer, who comes with long experience in the field of PR and TV production in connection with big sports events. She had been working as marketing manager for Mountain Equipment since 2011.
Uvex is an acronym for “ultraviolegt excluded.” Founded in 1926 and dedicated to the mission of “protecting people,” the family-owned Uvex Group develops personal safety products as well as glasses, including sunglasses and readers sold under the Filtral brand name. It employs about 2,300 people at 48 offices and subsidiaries in 22 countries around the world. Two-thirds of them are stationed in Germany.
In the financial year ended last July 31, which marked its 90th anniversary, the group raised its sales by 3 percent to €399 million. While the Uvex Safety Group grew by 4 percent to €287 million, the Uvex Sports Group and Filtral recorded flat sales of €118 million.
The sales results fell below the long-term target of 5 percent annual growth set by the management. The late arrival of the winter season affected its sports eyewear operations, but the company claims that its market shares increased. The group's revenues were also dragged down by currency exchange fluctuations in core markets such as Australia and South Africa.
Specializing in goggles and helmets for snow sports, the Uvex sports group is developing new products in the cycling and equestrian sports sectors to counterbalance the vagaries of the winter season. While investing in innovation, it is also trying to conquer new international markets. It is reportedly working on a new sales structure in the U.S.