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Patrick Barthels appointed CEO of the OQEMA Group

Patrick Barthels is going to become the Chief Executive Officer of the OQEMA Group as of 1 July. He will succeed Peter Overlack, who has led the company for 34 years.

‘It’s impossible to replace me,’ says Peter Overlack, CEO of the OQEMA Group – and that is something we did not even try to do … He laughs. ‘Nonetheless, with Patrick Barthels following in my footsteps, I have a worthy successor who knows the OQEMA Group very well. He is dynamic, highly sales-oriented – and a nice guy,’ continues Peter Overlack, adding that Patrick Barthels’ experience and expertise are excellent characteristics for the ongoing growth of the OQEMA Group, growth for which he has already shared a large amount of responsibility in recent years.
Patrick Barthels joined the OQEMA Group from Shell Chemicals in 2016. He has sat on the Executive Board as Chief Sales Officer since 2020. His future role as the Chief Executive Officer of the OQEMA Group will continue to have a strong focus on purchasing and sales in the future, too.
‘I am delighted that I will continue to have an active hand in shaping OQEMA. With our Vision 2027, we are setting out on a journey towards an even stronger presence in Europe. We are continuously expanding our portfolio and expertise, and have a clear understanding of our duty as a distributor to become more sustainable. For instance, our in-house recycling facilities are a highlight within our industry when it comes to having a circular economy,’ Patrick Barthels emphasises.
After studying economics in combination with process engineering (technology-oriented business administration) at the Stuttgart Technology University of Applied Sciences, Patrick Barthels commenced his career at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart and held various positions at an automotive supplier before switching to the Shell corporation, where he oversaw logistics for Lubricants Europe, joined the DACH Downstream management team and most recently served as Commercial Manager Solvents Europe/AF/ME in Rotterdam. 
Patrick Barthels will become Chief Executive Officer of the OQEMA Group on 1 July 2022 and replace Peter Overlack, who will act as Co-CEO until October before switching to the Supervisory Board to become the OQEMA Group’s Chairman.
Patrick Barthels farewelled Peter Overlack, the Group’s owner and long-standing CEO, by thanking him for his ‘trust and the shared journey taken together so far and to be continued in the future. I see it as an exceptional display of trust that I was chosen to be the first CEO of the Group who does not have a family member on the Executive Board. I will continue fulfilling my duties with the energy and fairness that they demand. Our strong growth in recent years was only possible thanks to our great team spirit. This team spirit, coupled with our strategy, will remain the foundation of our success in the future, too. We wish to remain a particularly people-centric company.’