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Management & Supervisory Board

Management Board

Claus Sauter

Founder and CEO


Since May 2006, Claus Sauter (* 1966), the founder of VERBIO, has also been its CEO. He is responsible for Global Business Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Post Merger Integration, Global Human Resources, Global Marketing & Communications and ESG (Environmental Social Governance). The Special Products business unit and the VERBIO subsidiary in India also report to him.

After graduating in economics and social sciences from the University of Augsburg, in 1990 he took charge of the family wholesale business, Alois Sauter Landesprodukten-Grosshandlung GmbH & Co. KG, in the Bavarian town of Obenhausen. Claus Sauter subsequently became the managing partner, CEO and shareholder of a number of companies set up by him in Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Lüdtke

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Vice-Chairman of the Management Board

Prof. Dr. Oliver Lüdtke (* 1965), who holds a doctorate in engineering, has been a member and Vice President of the Board of Directors of VERBIO since May 2011. His responsibilities as a CTO include Research and Development, Production and Project Management with a focus on bioethanol and biomethane.

Oliver Lüdtke graduated in engineering from the University of Hanover in 1993, and completed his doctorate in 1996 at the Chemical Institute of the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht. From 1997 until 2000 he was engineering project manager at Hoechst AG, Frankfurt, after which he joined chemical company Celanese until 2005, where he performed various managerial roles in production and trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt. From 2005–2007, Prof. Dr. Lüdtke was site manager of the Japanese chemical company Polyplastics in Oberhausen, and also took his MBA. At the beginning of 2008 Prof. Dr. Lüdtke became head of the segment Bioethanol/Biomethane of VERBIO.

Olaf Tröber

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Olaf Tröber (* 1969) has been working with VERBIO since 2007. He headed the Treasury, Risk Management, Investor Relations and Business Development departments before joining the Board of Directors on 1 July 2022. As CFO, he is responsible for the Global Finance, Accounting, Controlling, Treasury as well as for Global IT, Legal, Compliance, Insurance and Investor Relations.

Olaf Tröber attended universities in Germany and South Africa and completed his business studies at the University of Leipzig in 1999. He then, worked for an international investment company in Munich. There he was responsible for the Treasury/ Finance department and was a member of the management board of various companies in Germany and abroad.

Theodor Niesmann

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

The graduate engineer Theodor Niesmann (* 1967) has been a member of the Board of Directors of VERBIO since May 2011. His responsibilities as a CTO include Research and Development, Production, Construction and Project Management with a focus on biodiesel.

As of 1996, Theodor Niesmann worked in various companies as a project engineer and project manager on the planning and construction of chemical and energy plants. In doing so, he gained extensive experience in especially the building and operation of plants for processing vegetable oil and oleochemical production. In 2000 he joined VERBIO Diesel Bitterfeld as project manager. From 2004–2007 he was CEO of VERBIO Diesel Schwedt (VDS), where he headed the plant's construction and operation. Since 2007, Theodor Niesmann has been in charge of biodiesel segment as a whole and also set up the Department of Plant Engineering, which he now heads.

Bernd Sauter

Executive Board Member for Europe

Bernd Sauter (*1969), a trained wholesale and export merchant, has been a member of the Board of Directors of VERBIO since November 2010. In addition to the administrative management of the production sites, he is also responsible for General Administration, Regional Human Resources, Quality Management, Regional Procurement and Sales, Regional Marketing and Communications as well as for Agricultural Management, Supply Chain and Logistics in Europe.

After heading the mid-sized family companies Sauter Verpachtungsgesellschaft Zörbig as of 1997 and Alois Sauter Landesprodukten GmbH & Co. KG as well as Autokontor Bayern GmbH as of the year 2000 Bernd Sauter became a member of the Board of Directors at VERBIO in 2010 and was responsible for procurement, logistics and agricultural management.

Stefan Schreiber

Executive Board Member for North America

Stefan Schreiber (* 1969) has been with VERBIO since 2017. He initially headed the Business Development department before getting a member of the Board of Directors in 2020. He is responsible for Production, General Administration, Human Resources, Business Development, Marketing and Communication Agricultural Management, Supply Chain, Trade and Logistics for North America. Furthermore, Stefan Schreiber represents VERBIO on the European Biodiesel Board and in the German Biofuel Association (VDB) in his function as President of the Association.

After graduating in Economics at Saarland University in 1996 he has been employed with Cargill for twenty years holding various management positions in Germany and abroad dealing with sales and processing of biodiesel, grain and oilseeds.

Supervisory Board

Alexander von Witzleben

Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Member of the Supervisory Board since 2006

education / academic career

Study of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Passau

professional background

Several years of leading and general management positions in various companies, such as

Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH in Duisburg, Jenoptik AG Jena,
KPMG Deutsche Treuhand Gesellschaft in München

Currently holding various management positions and mandates in supervisory bodies, including Arbonia Management AG in Arbon (Switzerland), Feintool International Holding AG in Lyss (Switzerland), Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA in Siegburg, PVA TePla AG in Wettenberg, Artemis Holding AG in Hergiswil (Switzerland), KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Bremen

Ulrike Krämer

Deputy Chair of the Supervisory Board
Member of the Supervisory Board since June 2010

education / academic career

Studied industrial engineering at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences (D) with a degree in industrial engineering (FH)

professional background

After working as a partner and managing director of M&K Treuhand GmbH in Ludwigsburg, she has worked as an auditor and tax advisor in individual companies since 2014.

Dr. Klaus Niemann

Member of the Supervisory Board
since January 2021


education / academic career

Study of Chemistry at the Westphalian Wilhelms University, Münster before graduating to Dr. rer. nat. at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim a. d. Ruhr

professional background

Several years of leading and general management positions in various companies, such as

Ruhröl Raffinerie in Gelsenkirchen, TNK-BP in Moskau, PCK Raffinerie GmbH in Schwedt/Oder, Chemiepark Münchsmünster