German firearms maker Heckler & Koch is undergoing a major shakeup today as Chairman and CEO Norbert Scheuch was ousted by the company’s supervisory board. The decision was announced via a press release from the company earlier today.
August 29, 2017. The supervisory board of H&K AG, the parent company of the Heckler & Koch Group (“Heckler & Koch”), has revoked the appointment of Mr. Norbert Scheuch as Chairman of the Executive Board and as Chief Executive Officer of H&K AG with immediate effect. The appointment of Mr. Norbert Scheuch as executive director of Heckler & Koch GmbH was also revoked with immediate effect.
Until the appointment of a successor in the near future, Mr. Wolfgang Hesse, the sole executive board member of H&K AG and the sole executive director of Heckler & Koch GmbH, will take over Mr. Scheuch’s duties, in close cooperation with the supervisory board.
The already initiated strategic realignment of the Group, the operational transformation process and the product innovation initiative will be continued unchanged.
About Heckler & Koch
The Heckler & Koch Group, in operation for more than 65 years, is a leading manufacturer of small arms with a premium quality product portfolio for the armed forces of the EU, of NATO countries and of NATO-equivalent countries. The Heckler & Koch Group designs, produces and distributes small arms, including rifles, side arms, sub-machine guns, machine guns and grenade launchers.
The move makes sense as H&K has undergone some serious issues lately. As The Firearms Blog noted earlier:
The company is building a new factory in the US, as it seeks to penetrate further into the US military and civilian gun markets. As part of this aggressive push, H&K’s product lineup has been significantly revised, as well, with the introduction of the HK433 and several other new models based on the HK416 and G36. On the other hand, the company has also had persistent financial difficulties to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, coupled with serious management issues. The failure to deliver XM25 CDTE weapons to the US government due to a company officer decisions, as well as the firing of experienced HK USA President Wayne Weber, both point to deeply buried threads of management shortcomings within the company itself.
None of that paints a rosy picture of life at Heckler & Koch. Let’s also not forget that firearm sales are down across the entire industry, in part because gun owners are no longer panic-buying thanks to a gun friendly administration and congress showing no interest in gun control policies. While much of H&K’s sales come to government agencies, a major dip in the U.S. civilian market as got to hurt and none of that make Scheuch’s job any easier.
Of course, H&K has a good reputation for quality firearms, so it’s not like they’ll be unable to get through this shakeup. After all, it’s not like they’re filing for bankruptcy or anything.
Let’s just hope that the new CEO will continue the company’s efforts to gain a larger share of the U.S. civilian gun markets. Even if you’re not an H&K fan, more competition is good for all of us.