Personnel offensive at German battery pioneer: Customcells strengthens its top management

Customcells is making targeted reinforcements and accelerating the implementation of its strategy. The German battery cell developer and producer has won over several top managers from renowned companies such as Continental, Rimac, BMW, Magna and Kion. This was intended to further accelerate Customcells' growth. In addition, the company is focusing further on professionalization of the organization as well as internationalization. At the end of 2022, a Series A financing round of EUR 60 million was successfully completed. Customcells relies on high-performance and tailor-made premium battery cells - a key focus is on the electrification of aviation.


Dr. Christoph Falk (previously: Continental, Alten, MBtech, Valeo, Bosch) join Customcells as President Product Business and has become a member of the Executive Board. Frank Brunner (previously: Rimac, Staufen, Hornbach, Porsche Consulting, EvoBus, Continental) becomes Senior Vice President Manufacturing. Claudia Belz-Fugmann (previously: Ecobat, Magna) takes over as Vice President HR and has become Labor Director. Andreas Löhrke (previously: BMW) will be responsible for the development and industrialization of a cell series as Senior Vice President. Eric Swedersky (previously: SecureKey, E&Y, Royal Canadian Air Force) is responsible for commercialization in the product business as Senior Vice President. Dr. Martin Jäckel (previously: Kion, Byton, Infiniti, MonitorDeloitte) is responsible for Strategy & Investor Relations as Senior Vice President. Martin Peters (previously: SOEX, Atos) is the new Chief Operating Officer and Robin Kositza (previously: Prokon) has taken on the role of Chief Digital Officer.

“Customcells wants to become a global player. On the way to achieving this goal, we have been able to win over a whole series of well-known managers. They strengthen our internal technical expertise with external experience from international corporations, consultancies, and startups – this combination underscores the seriousness of our course,” says Dirk Abendroth, CEO of the Customcells Group. “We are pursuing a clear strategy and a consistent growth course. We want to create and shape a new premium segment in the international market for battery cells.”

Customcells – with locations in Itzehoe and Tübingen – is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and has been active in the development and series production of state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cells for more than ten years. The company works along the entire value chain from development to certification and series production to recycling. 

The new personnel in more detail:

As of October 1, Austrian Dr. Christoph Falk – currently still Managing Director at Continental Engineering Services – will take over as “President Product Business”, responsible for building up the product business at Customcells; this includes the development, industrialization, and marketing of premium high-performance battery cells. A mechatronics engineer with a doctorate in computer science, he began his professional career at Bosch in software development before moving to Valeo (motor systems) in Paris and to MBtech (electromobility), moving to engineering services provider Alten as Technical Director afterwards. Since 2020, he has been working for Continental’s innovation hotbed, where he is responsible for 24 locations and 3,000 employees. Dr. Christoph Falk will also become a member of the Executive Board of Customcells.

Frank Brunner will become “Senior Vice President Manufacturing” as of July 1. He was COO at Rimac in Croatia from 2020 until spring 2023. In this role, he was responsible, among other things, for setting up battery production for well-known OEM customers and building two plants. With a degree in industrial engineering, he started his career at Continental and EvoBus before moving to Porsche Consulting, where he worked for ten years – most recently as Principal. From there, he went to Hornbach as COO; later to the consulting firm Staufen AG, where he was operationally responsible for the American business. At Customcells, he is responsible for the production area.

Andreas Löhrke started his role on May 1. He brings more than 20 years of experience from the automotive industry in the field of electromobility and international expertise (China, Norway, Sweden, UK). Löhrke comes from BMW, where he most recently held a leading position in battery development, including cylindrical cells. As Senior Vice President Product Line at Customcells, he is responsible for the development and industrialization of a cell series.

Eric Swedersky has been responsible for the commercialization of the product business since February (“Senior Vice President Product Commercialization”). The Canadian worked for many years for the Royal Canadian Air Force and Ernst & Young and was most recently responsible for building up the European business of the cyber security company SecureKey Technologies.

In March, Claudia Belz-Fugmann started as “Vice President Human Resources and Labor Director”. A lawyer, she most recently held the position of Human Resources Director at Ecobat Resources GmbH, one of the largest U.S. battery recycling companies for both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Before that, she passed through various positions as manager and authorized signatory at Magna International, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, and at a U.S. medical technology company. 

As Senior Vice President Strategy & Investor Relations, Dr. Martin Jäckel hasbeen responsible for this area since February. He previously worked as a strategy consultant for MonitorDeloitte and as head of strategy for Infiniti China and the startup Byton. Most recently, he led a strategic transformation project at the Kion Group.

Robin Kositza joined Customcells last fall as Chief Digital Officer. Before that, he was a division manager, authorized signatory, and IT manager at the energy company Prokon.

Martin Peters also took over the role of Chief Operating Officer last year. The business informatics specialist was previously COO at SOEX, a textile recycling company, and as a principal at the consulting division of Atos.

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