German utility RWE has announced that its supervisory board has appointed Leonhard Birnbaum to the executive board of the company, effective October 1, 2008.

Dr Birnbaum succeeds Berthold Bonekamp as chief strategy officer. This executive board portfolio comprises corporate strategy and business development, mergers and acquisitions, research and development and renewable energies.

Mr Bonekamp will leave the company on December 31, 2008 and go into retirement, as previously announced. Until then, Mr Birnbaum will be responsible for corporate strategy and business development, on the executive board of RWE.

Dr Birnbaum assumed the post of head of corporate strategy/business development at RWE in April 2008. Prior to that, he worked for McKinsey both in Germany and abroad for over 10 years. The focus of his consulting activities was the energy industry and the energy-intensive raw materials industry.

Dr Birnbaum was named partner (principal) at McKinsey in 2000, and in 2006 was promoted to senior partner (director). In this role, he was a member of the management team for the European energy sector.

Juergen Grossmann, CEO of RWE, said: Berthold Bonekamp can look back on three decades of exceptionally successful work in a variety of top management positions at the RWE Group. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude. I am delighted that with Dr Birnbaum we have been able to secure an experienced manager and excellent strategy specialist as Mr Bonekamp’s successor.