Leading a company with over 170 years of history, management of more than 330 employees, global responsibility for 13 completely different fragrance brands, driving digitisation, internationalisation and growth for a German medium-sized enterprise... These tasks are all in a day’s work for Stephan Kemen, CEO of Mäurer & Wirtz. He is successfully combining tradition and modernity, all before he’s reached the age of 40. Or is that his secret? The business magazine CAPITAL hailed Stephan Kemen as one of the most important talents in the German economy, including him in the Managers category of their “Young Elite – Top 40 Under 40” for 2021.
CAPITAL award for young decision-makers and designers in Germany
Since 2007, the business magazine CAPITAL has been selecting 40 managers, entrepreneurs, politicians and exceptional talents from science and society, who are under the age of 40 and have done outstanding work over the past few years. Stephan Kemen was named one of the “Young Elite 2021”, one of those who have the real potential to make a difference in the course of their future careers. The winners are selected by the editorial team of the magazine CAPITAL which awards prizes among hundreds of hopefuls to those who, thanks to their success and influence, are an exceptional steering force in our country.
Stephan Kemen – A portrait
Stephan Kemen looks back on a career that is based on three success factors: An eye for trends, focus and team spirit.
In addition to his experience in the media world, it was the beauty industry that he really connected with and that continues to be his professional home today. Kemen, who calls himself a “family man”, manages the company together with managing partner Dr Hermann Wirtz, the fifth generation of owner-managers for Mäurer & Wirtz. Their technique revolves around sustainable corporate management, an appreciative approach to traditional brands such as 4711 and Tabac, as well as a commitment to the Rhineland location of Stolberg for production and administration.
In order to allow the company to grow even further, major future topics are also a key focus. How can the traditional brands 4711 and Tabac be rejuvenated? How can lifestyle fragrance brands such as s.Oliver or Betty Barclay be staged in a contemporary way and how can completely new brands such as Les Destinations build a following? Which markets, price segments and distribution channels are important to conquer? Not forgetting, how does a long-established company become a progressive employer? Kemen has set himself great goals in the advancement of digitization, diversification and internationalisation. His formula for success has always involved trusting himself, surrounding himself with experts and pursuing his goals together with a trusted team, and these ingredients are also reflected in his career at Mäurer & Wirtz – from Brand Management to Marketing Management to Managing Director.
For a long time, Kemen was also active in the field of social media and inspired almost 120,000 followers with his Instagram presence. This is something that can only be achieved with an innate sense of trend – something Kemen also incorporates into his brand management style. From celebrity concepts to the radical reinvention of existing brands for on-trend target groups, he always has his finger on the pulse of the younger generation. In this respect, Kemen is not only a local in the Aachen area, but also a native in the digital world. Perhaps it's precisely his middle age that has presented him with such success in combining tradition and modernity within the management of Mäurer & Wirtz. After all, understanding all stakeholders – young and old – is the foundation of market-oriented business.
The Mäurer & Wirtz team is delighted with Stephan Kemen's award and appreciation for the fact that, under his leadership, the company is retaining its strengths as a local player based in Germany, while developing into a global player.