Wolfgang Holzhäuser has announced he will step down as managing director of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, with global communications director Michael Schade stepping up to replace him at the leading 1.Bundesliga club.
Holzhäuser has served as a member of the board of Bayer 04 Fußball GmbH since 1998 and managing director since June 2004. He will end his contract with effect from September 30. His decision comes with Leverkusen currently sitting third in the 1.Bundesliga table. “As they say, it’s always best to quit when you’re ahead,” said Holzhäuser, according to the club’s official website. “Bayer 04 is all set up for the future. We’ve got a great team on and off the pitch. We have more than fulfilled our targets in the current campaign and we qualified for the Champions League with two games to play. That’s an ideal point to move on after 15 years working at Bayer 04.”
Holzhäuser will still be involved with Bayer 04 as he is due to be elected to the club’s shareholders’ committee in the autumn. Chairman of the committee, Werner Wenning, said: “Wolfgang Holzhäuser has been of immense value to Bayer 04. He played a key role in turning the football section into a limited company and made Bayer 04 into one of the most modern clubs in the Bundesliga. He also established the club on a solid foundation. The footballing achievements are outstanding with seven seasons in European competitions and four runners-up spots in the league. And we can’t forget his great commitment to the rebuilding of the BayArena.”
In appointing Schade, Leverkusen has opted to put a communications expert and former sports journalist in charge. Wenning added: “Michael Schade is an experienced manager on the international stage and he also has great knowledge in the field of sports management. Moreover, he has been a member of the Bayer 04 supervisory committee for six years and is therefore fully conversant with all the details of the post.”