Germany’s Youngest CEO Is 29 Years Old

(Bloomberg) -- Marc Fielmann, who is taking over as sole chief executive officer at the German eyewear maker his father founded, is promising investors faster growth and a larger share of the market for prescription glasses.

It’s the first time the younger Fielmann has lifted the lid on plans to change as the 29-year-old takes over as the youngest CEO among major listed German companies from his billionaire father, who is the oldest at 79. Fielmann’s market share in continental Europe, where the company holds the No. 3 position behind family-run SpecSavers and GrandVision NV, should climb to 25 percent by 2025 from about 17 percent now, the Hamburg-based company said on Monday.

The company plans to sell 12 million pairs of eyeglasses by 2025, compared with 8.15 million in 2018. External revenue, which includes value added tax and inventory changes, will rise to about 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) by 2025 from 1.65 billion euros last year, the company said.

Germany’s Youngest CEO Is 29 Years Old

Such handovers don’t always go smoothly, as illustrated by German fashion company Gerry Weber, which is fighting for survival four years after founder Gerhard Weber handed the CEO post to his son Ralf. Manager Magazin reported earlier that Fielmann plans to start selling glasses online, possibly from next year, a move his father had shunned for years.

Germany’s Youngest CEO Is 29 Years Old

The company plans investment spending of more than 200 million euros for 2019 and 2020 combined, about double what it’s been laying out so far, as it opens new stores and boosts its digital efforts.

“The company had seemed to be a bit complacent since 2015, sitting on a huge market share in the German-speaking region, while GrandVision has been outgrowing them organically and adding acquisitions on top,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Charles Allen said.

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