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AHT Group and Daikin Europe N.V. Announce Key Leadership Changes, Including New Chief Executive Officer and new Chief Financial Officer

Press Release, March 2019

Following the continued expansion of the Daikin Group, with the acquisition of the AHT Group in November 2018, the leadership of the AHT Group is changing on 1 March 2019, with Daikin UK Managing Director Martin Krutz returning to Austria as Chief Executive Officer of the AHT Group and Koji Takahashi, currently Senior Manager involved in strategic company projects in Daikin Europe, becoming Chief Financial Officer of the AHT Group. 

Martin Krutz’s appointment as CEO of the AHT Group builds on 28 years’ experience within the Daikin Group, including most recently three highly successful years in DAIKIN UK and, prior to that, roles within the EMEA Business Reform Office in Daikin Europe, as Managing Director of Daikin Central Europe and as Managing Director of Daikin Poland. Martin Krutz is taking over the helm from Frank Elsen, acting Chief Executive Officer of AHT since October 2018 and previously Chief Financial Officer.

Frank Elsen: “I am very happy that I will have the opportunity to continue shaping AHT’s future in an advising function to the Supervisory Board. The future will be a promising one – mainly due to an excellent team, high quality products and new potentials as a member of the Daikin family.” 

In addition to the existing AHT Management Team, Martin Krutz will in the future also be supported by Koji Takahashi, who will join the company as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Koji is part of the Daikin team since 2012 and transferred from the Japanese headquarter to the office in Belgium in 2014. He has several years of experience in the banking sector and was, in his latest position as Department Manager at Daikin Europe, responsible for the coordination and analysis of strategic company projects within the Group. In close cooperation with the existing finance team he will lead all financial matters of the organization including proper integration into the Daikin system in this segment.

Martin Krutz: " I am excited of being part of AHT's new journey as part of the Daikin Group and continuing the company’s success story. This will be achieved by building on the experience of a dynamic team, ensuring and strengthening our business relationships and creating an environment based on professionalism, friendship and trust." 

Daikin hereby would like to thank Frank Elsen for his continued commitment, efforts and achievements during his three years in the business as Chief Financial Officer and since October 2018 as Chief Executive Officer, culminating in a strong performance of the business in 2018 with overall financial performance being on-track and achieving expectations. For Martin Krutz, this represents an exciting new challenge, but Daikin has absolute confidence in Martin’s ability to lead the AHT Group onwards to even greater successes, with the continued support of Koji Takahashi and the existing AHT Management Team. Daikin would like to thank them all for their continued commitment, efforts and achievements that contribute to the ongoing expansion of the Daikin group. To Frank, Martin and Koji, Daikin wishes all the best in their new roles.


Daikin Europe N.V. completed the acquisition of AHT Group on 22 February 2019 as part of Daikin’s strategy to strengthen its business within the refrigeration market by building on AHT’s expertise in high efficiency refrigeration and freezing systems for supermarkets and convenience stores. This acquisition aligns with Daikin’s vision of continually investing in energy efficient technologies, while focusing on social responsibility issues such as diminishing food waste throughout the cold chain.

Together with Daikin’s 2016 acquisition of the Zanotti Group, which specialises in commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration equipment, this latest acquisition aims to consolidate Daikin’s global leadership within the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.


Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe
Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe was founded in 1999 with its headquarters in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria. The product portfolio comprises products and solutions for heating, cooling, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. Roughly 320 employees are in charge of the sales and service activities in 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania).

About Daikin Europe N.V.
Daikin Europe N.V. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries Limited and a major European producer of air conditioners, heating systems and refrigeration equipment, with approximately 6950 employees throughout Europe and major manufacturing facilities based in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the UK.
Globally, Daikin is renowned for its pioneering approach to product development and the unrivalled quality and versatility of its integrated solutions. With more than 90 years of experience in the design and manufacture of heating and cooling technologies, Daikin is a market leader in heat pump technology.

Press contact:
Marijke Slijkhuis
Marketing & Communication, Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe HandelsgmbH
Tel.: 43 (0)2236 32557-175
Campus 21, Europaring F12/402, 2345 Brunn am Gebirge, Austria 

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