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Curriculum Vitae

Profile

Michael Kamm grew up in the greater Stuttgart area, and studied mechanical engineering after completing his schooling and military service. The plan was that this technical education would later enable him to head up his parents’ automotive supply company with his twin brother.

After his father suffered an accident and the family business was subsequently sold, he supplemented his education with a degree in business administration, going on to start his career with internationally renowned consulting firm Arthur Andersen & Co.

As part of his consulting work, he supported clients in the textile, fashion and sporting goods industry. Having a great interest in this vibrant industry, he took the opportunity to transfer to the position of Managing Director at North Sails after three years working as a consultant, going on to acquire the windsurfing and sportswear lifestyle company in a management buy-out.
Together with a friend as his business partner, he grew the business internationally, turning it into a global leader. The two later sold their company to a Swiss investor, merging with competitor Mistral at the same time. Michael Kamm remained on board as CEO in this new configuration.

On leaving the group later, he took on management board and executive roles at renowned sporting goods, textile and fashion brands (Marker ski bindings, Etienne Aigner, Nici Accessories, Sympatex Technologies, Ploucquet Textiles and CBR Fashion Group), and has been working in this industry environment for over 30 years.

With his business education and having spent the first few years of his professional life in auditing and tax consulting, he initially started out as a CFO. As his career progressed, he began to also really get to grips with the demands of production and supply chains, with a growing focus on marketing and sales in the context of his responsibilities as CEO. 

Besides establishing dedicated retail organisations, his work in this area also included developing multi-channel sales structures, and in recent times increasingly covered activities in the e-commerce and digital sectors too. As a Managing Partner of the consulting firm he founded with three others, he takes on an interim executive role to help clients reorganise and digitally transform their companies.

Michael Kamm has been an honorary representative of the German textile industry on various European committees for many years. After completing training as a certified supervisory and advisory board member, he also takes professional responsibility on the boards of international companies. He sets himself apart as a cosmopolitan manager and advisor, and an experienced supervisory authority, particularly in roles that present interdisciplinary and intercultural challenges.

19882019

Responsibility in supervisory and advisory functions

North Sails Lanka Ltd.
Chairman of the Board (Colombo) from 1988 to 1997

North Sails Windsurfing USA Inc.
Director of the Board (Seattle) from 1991 to 1997

North Sails Surf France S.A.
President and Chairman of the Board (St. Malo) from 1992 to 1997

Mistral Sports Group Suisse S.A.
Delegate of the Board of Directors (Fribourg) from 1995 to 1997

Etienne Aigner Italy S.r.l.
Chairman of the Board (Florence) from 2003 to 2008

Sunselex AG
Member of the Supervisory Board (Munich) from 2006 to 2008

Ploucquet Textil Romania SRL
Director of the Board (Brasov) from 2010 to 2014

Sympatex Asia Ltd
Chairman of the Board (Hongkong) von 2010 bis 2016

BekaertDeslee Holding Belgium NV
Advisory Board Consultant (Waregem) from 2018 to present

19962019

Honorary roles

Professional sphere

Industrieverband Veredlung, Garne, Gewebe und Technische Textilien (Association of the Yarns, Woven Fabrics and Technical Textiles Industry)
Member of the Executive Committee (Frankfurt) from 2012 to 2016

ETP – The European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing
Governing Board Member (Brussels) from 2013 to present

Forschungskuratorium Textil (Textile Research Council)
Member of the Board (Berlin) from 2015 to present

Gesamtverband textil + mode (German Textile + Fashion Association)
Member of the Executive Committee (Berlin) from 2017 to present

EURATEX – The European Apparel and Textile Confederation
Director of the Board (Brussels) from 2018 to present

 

Private sphere

Verein der Freunde & Förderer e.V. (Association of Friends)
Member of the Board (Neubeuern am Inn) from 2005 to 2008

Stiftung Schloss Neubeuern (Neubeuern Castle School Foundation)
Member and President of the Board of Trustees (Rosenheim) from 2006 to 2008

20092019

Antevorte

During the financial and economic crisis, Michael Kamm and three partners founded a consulting company that specialised in optimising potential yield. As managers with experience in four different sectors, the team serves its customers’ interests with a broad base. In contrast to classic consulting firms, they implement the performance programmes they develop themselves, or they add constructive value to existing systems.

For Antevorte, this means taking responsibility for implementation, which is why they work within firms as part of the management team, to help reorganise them in a way that is sustainable. With their long-standing experience at the top level, their extensive industry and market expertise, and their time spent in companies of different sizes and organisational structures, they guide businesses back on the road to success. They benchmark the quality of their performance against the lasting improvements in results they are able to generate for their clients, based on objective criteria.

The experts from Antevorte are in demand both for tough restructuring and recovery processes, as well as by customers who want to tap dormant potential in their companies to enable them to achieve leading market positions.

 

20162018

CBR Fashion Group

The CBR Fashion Group, based in Celle and Isernhagen, is a fashion company and one of the principal suppliers of ladies’ fashions in Germany.

CBR develops, produces and markets its products under the brands Street One and CECIL. With over 1,200 employees, the firm operates in 19 European countries, supplying a total of 8,200 retail outlets. This includes roughly 2,900 shop floor areas with stores and shop-in-shops, as well as more than 5,300 multi-label spaces.

Founders Detlev Meyer and Friedhelm Behn started to build the company in 1980, becoming the first German business to market twelve monthly fashion collections, which were initially sold in major department stores. In the 90s, the brands launched their own shop construction systems, going on to build numerous shops and stores in big cities, followed by retail outlets in smaller towns and cities.

In 2004, Meyer and Behn sold CBR, with a turnover of roughly 600 million euros, to financial investors Cinven and Apax, who in turn sold it on to Swedish investment group EQT in April 2007. In February 2018, the CBR Fashion Group was sold to British investor Alteri.

From 2016 on, Michael Kamm served as interim CEO for CBR, overseeing the preparatory exit and transfer phase to ensure that the sale of the company group went as planned. As part of his work, he also drove the further growth of CBR’s e-commerce business and the expansion of the CBR multi-brand sales channel with retail distribution networks in multiple European countries.

His responsibilities also included communication and external PR, as well as human resources and personnel development.

20102016

Ploucquet Textiles

Ploucquet was founded in 1806 by Christoph Friedrich Ploucquet in Heidenheim an der Brenz, making it the oldest textile company still manufacturing products in continental Europe. Over the course of two centuries, Ploucquet went on to become one of the most prestigious textile firms in Southern Germany.

While Ploucquet had experienced several crises throughout its history, it managed to weather all storms until the problems it faced in the early 2000s looked like they would spell the downfall of the Heidenheim-based company. After 2002, a majority of the employees had to be fired due to a slump in sales and the facility was shut down entirely in 2006, when the business moved its registered office to Munich and production to Zittau in Upper Lusatia. After 200 years as a family-owned company, it was then sold to two international financial investors.

Michael Kamm’s role as the firm’s CEO was to stabilise the falling sales, tap new international markets and fully utilise production capacity at Ploucquet’s plants in Zittau and Brasov (Romania), to save the jobs which were at risk and safeguard them for the long term. It was a role he fulfilled to great success, utilising innovative marketing and sales activities to build a strong foundation, which then enabled him to sell the business to two strategic investors as separate companies. The firms subsequently enjoyed renewed robust sales, and the new owners made sustainable investments in manufacturing plants and new personnel.

20102016

Sympatex Technologies

Sympatex Technologies GmbH was a spin-off of the AKZO Nobel membrane division and was founded in 1986. Today, Sympatex® is a leading vendor of high-tech functional materials for clothing, shoes, accessories and technical applications. The company, based in Unterföhring near Munich, has subsidiaries worldwide, and develops, produces and markets membranes, laminates and functional textiles with international partners. The Sympatex membrane is highly breathable, 100% wind- and waterproof and offers excellent climate control; it is also PTFE- and PFC-free. The technologies and processes used to produce the membrane are built on the principles of ecological responsibility and sustainability.

As CEO of the Sympatex Group, after an initial restructuring process, Michael Kamm and his dedicated and visionary team implemented an internationally respected ‘Guaranteed Green’ strategy based on sustainable brand positioning, and drove international growth in its three divisions of Apparel, Footwear and Contract- and Workwear. The company also completed a funding round on the capital market, and reconfigured the shareholder structure. It was a challenging time in which Sympatex, like a cunning David, managed to win international market share from the all-powerful Goliath GORE-Tex.

 

20082008

Nici Soft Toys and Accessories


NICI GmbH is a company with headquarters in Altenkunstadt, Upper Franconia, which was founded in 1986 by husband-and-wife team Ottmar and Marina Pfaff. The firm produces soft toys it develops in-house, as well as merchandising products as a licensee. For example, NICI made Goleo, the mascot for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

In the same year, insolvency proceedings were instigated, with the Executive Board tracing the problems that occurred back to sluggish sales of the World Cup mascot. After the insolvency, the company and its workforce of 560 people endured tough times, and it was a few years before it could regain its customers’ trust.

The new owners brought Michael Kamm on board as CEO to help rebuild its operations including development (Korea), production (China) and sales (Europe), and to recapture the brand’s image. He supported the company on an interim basis until the current Managing Partner was appointed.

20032008

Etienne Aigner

Etienne Aigner is a German manufacturer of exclusive leather goods such as handbags, luggage, belts, purses and leather accessories for ladies and gentlemen. It also markets clothing, shoes, watches, jewellery and fragrances using the Aignerbrand name under licence. The company was founded in 1965 by Heiner Rankl in Munich, and acquired in the late 80s by Evi Brandl, a businesswoman from Munich who also owns other firms including VinzenzMurr, a successful national chain of butchers.

After significant initial success, Aigner’s revenues declined sharply in the mid-1990s and the company found itself in the red from 1998 on – due in part to the crisis in Asia. As a result of plummeting demand and further losses in the early 2000s, the logistics and warehouse operations had to be outsourced from 2003 on, and the firm’s retail activities had to be reorganised, with one third of the staff being laid off.

During this restructuring phase and subsequent repositioning strategy and years of growth, Michael Kamm bore responsibility for the group as its sole director. It was an intense period with a great team, to whom he is very grateful. As a small but high-performing Munich-based company, Aigner maintained 140 shops worldwide at that time, and built an outstanding brand image, especially in the Middle and Far East, as a supplier of quality German goods in the premium leather sector.

19992003

m2b ... now Supreme Contacts

The two former North Sails partners Michael Plank and Michael Kamm launched another joint project in 1999: m2b GmbH. During the ‘New Economy’ boom, they served as professional business accelerators, helping young startups in the sporting goods and lifestyle sectors turn their business visions into reality. As business angels, they concentrated on initial online sales activities and the challenges of ever-shorter product cycles.

In 2003, Michael Kamm sold his shares to Michael Plank, who used the acquisition to lay the foundations for what is now a broad-based network platform in three sectors: sporting goods, shoes and textiles. Besides over 40,000 sales profiles, this international network includes many contacts in a wide range of product segments under the umbrella brand ‘Supreme Contacts’.

19981999

Marker Ski bindings

The company was founded by Hannes Marker from Berlin, after he premiered the first safety ski binding model in 1952. The firm made its first home in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, before its German headquarters were relocated to Eschenlohe in the Bavarian highlands in 1988, where Marker built the world’s most modern production facility for ski bindings. After the company was sold to US investors, Salt Lake City was home to its international headquarters for more than 20 years. From there, Marker unexpectedly faced impending closure at the end of the 90s. The American parent company had got into difficulties and was no longer able to meet its financial obligations to the German subsidiary. The organisation in Eschenlohe faced insolvency.

During this period, Michael Kamm was the company’s Managing Director and, as interim CFO, he oversaw the restructuring and subsequent sale of the business to strategic investors from the sporting goods industry.

19881997

North Sails & Mistral Sports Group

North Sails is an international textile company and a specialist sailmaker with subsidiaries in various countries, founded by Lowell North in San Diego (California) in 1957. Entrepreneurs Michael Kamm and Michael Plank developed the lifestyle and surfing textiles sector internationally from Upper Bavaria in the 1990s. Today, North Sails is the world’s leading sailmaker and generates an annual turnover of over 200 million US dollars, with a majority interest held by British private equity firm Oakley Capital.

Mistral, originally a Swiss brand, was founded in 1976 and grew to become a well-known provider of windsurfing equipment – due in part to the success of Mistral team surfer Robby Naish. In 1994, Swiss investor Klaus J. Jacobs bought the company out and, after purchasing North Sails Windsurfing, merged the two to form the Mistral Sports Group.

Until 1997, Michael Kamm headed up the resulting new sporting goods group, which was later renamed Boards & More, as CEO. Today, even without the two surf brands North Sails and Mistral, which have now unfortunately gone under, the company is a global windsurfing market leader with its brands Fanatic, ION and Duotone.

19851988

Arthur Andersen & Co

Arthur Andersen was one of the Big Five global auditing companies, with headquarters in Chicago. Due to its involvement in the Enron scandal, the firm ceased operations under the Arthur Andersen brand in 2002. The company opened its first office in Germany in 1960, employing a staff of over 3,800 in ten locations by the time it closed.

After graduating with a degree in business administration, Michael Kamm’s first job was at Arthur Andersen & Co, where he worked in the Auditing, Tax Consulting and Management Consultancy departments of the Munich office.

19791985

Munich University of Technology (TUM) & Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU)

TUM is Bavaria’s only university of technology, and the second-largest university of technology in Germany. It is part of the Bavarian network of elite institutions, and is considered one of the best universities in Europe. LMU is also one of Europe’s leading universities, and can look back on over 500 years of history.

Having graduated from a modern languages-focused grammar school, his degree course in mechanical engineering at Munich University of Technology was a challenging and instructive time for Michael Kamm, while the university’s location in Schwabing gave him an ideal introduction to his current adopted home. During his studies at the Business Administration Faculty of LMU, he took specialised final exams in business taxation, revision, trusts and private law, in addition to the general business administration and macroeconomics exams.

19781979

Military service with Second German Corps

The Second German Corps was a unit of the German Army that existed from 1956 to 1993. During the Cold War, the Corps was tasked with defending the eastern border of Southern Germany. It was restructured in 1993 to form the German-American Corps (GE/US Corps) and played a key role in NATO’s multi-national strategy. The unit’s headquarters were in Ulm on the River Danube.

In 1978 and 1979, Michael Kamm was stationed in the Kienlesberg Barracks there as a soldier in the office staff during his military service, and assigned to Lieutenant General Carl-Gero von Ilsemann – the Corps’ commanding general at the time – as an orderly. Unexpectedly, he learned a lot during this time thanks to his involvement in international defence missions, and has enjoyed the lasting benefits of the order and structure taught there in his later roles.

1978

Abitur (School Leaving Examination) at Schloss Neubeuern (Neubeuern Castle)

After his first years of schooling in the Stuttgart area, Michael Kamm spent seven years at boarding school in Schloss Neubeuern (Neubeuern Castle) on the River Inn. After attending this school in the charming foothills of the Alps with his siblings, and sending his own children as boarders to the same modern languages grammar school, he has developed a close and enduring relationship with the Upper Bavaria region, which feels like home.

 

For him, the spirit of Neubeuern is as tangible today as it was then, and still unites the community of his graduating class. He is proud of his school and the values Neubeuern has been practising and teaching for many generations, and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Board Member in the Association of Friends, and as President of the Board of Trustees of the school’s foundation