More than a year after announcing the news, Deutsche Post DHL Group has appointed Tim Scharwath as the new chief executive of DHL Global Forwarding.

Mr Scharwath’s long-delayed appointment follows extended gardening leave with former employer Kuehne + Nagel, with DHL group chief executive Frank Appel holding it in the interim.

During his 25-year tenure with Kuehne + Nagel, Mr Scharwath worked his way through the ranks before being appointed executive vice president for air logistics in 2011.

It is this experience that DHL is hoping to mine as the company looks to turn around the fortunes of its global forwarding business.

Speaking about the appointment, Mr Appel said he was delighted to be welcoming Mr Scharwath to the management team.

“The extensive work of restructuring and improving processes in the division is already paying off, as our results have shown,” Mr Appel continued.

“As a real expert in the freight forwarding world, I am certain that Tim is prepared for his new responsibilities and is the right choice to realize our ambitious goals for DHL Global Forwarding.”

Until now a one-company man, Mr Scharwath was considered pivotal in making Kuehne + Nagel the second largest global airfreight forwarder.

In his new role, he is set to continue the division’s push towards IT renewal as well as building on the €287m operating profit it made last year.

“I am enthusiastically looking forward to joining Deutsche Post DHL Group at a time of significant opportunity,” said Mr Scharwath.

“I want to reinforce our core business model, lead a strong and proud organization and enhance sustainable customer value.”

When Mr Scharwath’s appointment was announced last year, the division had suffered a run of defeats, with the news putting to bed speculation the company may sell the forwarding unit.

The principal factor in the division’s poor form was an ill-fated IT transformation project New Forwarding Environment, which finally cost Mr Scharwath’s predecessor, Roger Crook, his job.

The €750m project was cancelled after crippling losses for 2014, with DP-DHL announcing in 2015 it would write off €345m as a result and instead buy a series of off-the-shelf products instead.

Briefly, Mr Appel brought back seasoned – if divisive – DHL executive Renato Chiavi to lead the division on an interim basis, before himself taking executive responsibility for the unit.

Mr Scharwath’s appointment was considered something of a coup, due to his reputation as one of the most experienced air freight forwarders in the business.

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