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board of directors

Ralph Kiessling

Board Director

Executive Vice-President Energy & Surface Technologies at Umicore

Ralph Kiessling was appointed Executive Vice-President Energy & Surface Technologies at Umicore in March 2021 after having served as Executive Vice-President Catalysis since February 2019. Prior to that, he occupied successive management functions in the Catalysis segment in Europe and Asia covering process technology, operations, business controlling and general management. Before joining Umicore in 2003, Ralph held management positions in the Degussa group from 1995. He holds a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the Erlangen-Nuremberg Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany. 

Thomas Lehnert

Board Director

Head of BU Energy Storage Systems at PowerCo SE

Thomas Lehnert was appointed Head of BU Energy Storage Systems at PowerCo SE in March of 2023, prior he served at the Chief Strategy Officer at the company. Between 2020 and 2022, Thomas was the Head of Cooperations CoE Battery Cell at Volkswagen Group AG. Previous roles include four years as Head of Finance & Controlling Participations Mercedes-Benz Cars at Daimler, 9 years spent at Kamenz as Chief Financial Officer and Commercial Director and 9 years at Daimler AG in various roles. He obtained his business administration degree at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in 1999.

Jörg Teichmann

Board Director

Chief Purchasing Officer at Volkswagen Group Components and PowerCo SE

Jörg Teichmann was appointed Chief Procurement Officer Group Components since 2021 and he is responsible for, among other things, raw material purchasing, supplier management and value engineering. He joined Volkswagen AG as Head of Value Engineering in 2016. Jörg was born in 1971 in Neustadt an der Orla in Thuringia. After completing his business administration studies, he first worked for the automotive supplier Butzleper, then in various management positions in procurement and supplier management at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. In 2009 he moved to the BMW Group as Head of Cost Engineering.

Frank Daufenbach

Board Director

Chief Strategy Officer at Umicore

Frank Daufenbach was appointed Chief Strategy Officer and joined Umicore’s Management Board in December 2021. He previously served as Vice President Strategy and Marketing of the Clean Mobility business group in Faurecia, a leading global automotive supplier with a strong focus on sustainable mobility. Prior to joining Faurecia, his roles included those of consultant at Monitor Deloitte, KPMG and Oliver Wyman. Frank holds a Master’s Degree at the HEC Business school in Paris, France.

Board of management


Chief Executive Officer at IONWAY

Thomas Jansseune has taken the helm as IONWAY’s first Chief Executive Officer, on 1 July 2023, following 22 years at Belgian circular materials group Umicore. In his last role at Umicore, Thomas led Umicore’s New Business Incubation and its great variety of topics, such as venture capital, solid state batteries, decarbonization, battery recycling and hydrogen electrolysis. Prior to the NBI, he was in charge of Corporate Development, and, building on his earlier international M&A experience, involved in the significant realignment of Umicore’s business portfolio at the time through divestments and acquisitions.

Thomas’s earlier roles at Umicore also included marketing and sales, with oversees postings in Taiwan and in Canada where he was managing director of Umicore’s Precious metals refining plant. Thomas Jansseune holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has a postgraduate in business administration and finance at the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven) in Belgium.

achim holzer

Chief Financial Officer at IONWAY

Achim Holzer was appointed Chief Financial Officer of IONWAY in August 2023. Between 2021-2023, he was the Head of Value Engineering & Central Functions Procurement at Volkswagen Group. He also held positions in value engineering from 2014 to 2019 at Audi AG, in Cost Engineering between 2009 to 2014 and Controlling between 1999 to 2008 at BMW Group. Achim holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) as well as a Doctorate in manufacturing management from the University of Passau.