Springer Nature c.e.o. Derk Haank [pictured] is to retire from his role by the end of the year, with bol.com c.e.o. Daniel Ropers taking on leadership of the publisher.
Ropers will join Springer Nature on 1st October and work with Haank until December "to ensure a smooth transition”.
Haank has a 30 year career in academic publishing behind him, almost half of it with Springer, and “the culmination of his career” was the merger of Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education in 2015, the retirement announcement said.
Haank commented: “I’m at the stage in my career when I’d like to step back from a c.e.o. role and try something a little different and a little less all-consuming. The fact that we have found a great successor in Daniel makes this now possible.”
While he was very proud of the achievements of Springer Nature in its two-year life, this felt a good time to hand over the reins, he added. “The critical merger related activities are behind us and our growth strategy is bearing fruit,” he said. “I will be leaving Springer Nature in the capable hands of a strong and highly experienced Management Board, and in Daniel, a new c.e.o. who will no doubt bring fresh insight and passion to a business that will remain close to my heart.”
Ropers [pictured left] is the co-founder of online retailer bol.com, of which he has been c.e.o. since 2000. “During his 17 years as c.e.o., Daniel created the leading retail brand in Benelux with a reputation for excellent personalised shopping, reliability and customer service,” the announcement said. Bol.com was sold to retail group Ahold Delhaize in 2012, with Ropers remaining as c.e.o.
Ropers commented: “I am excited and honoured to be joining a complex industry which is undergoing digitally driven change, to work with people from around the world passionate about what they do and to contribute to the growth of a sector that really matters for the advancement of science, learning and society.”
Stefan von Holtzbrinck, chairman of the Springer Nature Board, said: “In Daniel, we have found a c.e.o who understands the importance of putting customers at the heart of a business and delivering products and services that they want, when they want them and in a way that suits them. From my days as an early investor in bol.com, I know him to be a great colleague with a personality that will be a good cultural fit with Springer Nature.”
Von Holtzbrinck said that Roper’s B2B and B2C experience “is equally relevant to helping researchers to advance discovery by serving up relevant information and making their research globally discoverable, helping teachers make use of digital products to be more effective or helping professionals to keep up to date with the latest thinking."