Our governance

EFQM is a not for profit, membership Foundation. It is run by the members, for the members. In addition to the EFQM Management Team based in Brussels, a Board of Directors oversees EFQM’s operations. It is supported by a Strategy Committee, a Finance and Audit Committee and a Nomination and HR Committee.

Board of Directors

The EFQM Board of Directors meets twice a year. Its role is to ensure that EFQM’s strategy and its implementation are aligned with the mission of the Foundation, taking into account the views and expectations of all stakeholder groups. It also strives to maximise the added-value for members and to secure EFQM’s sustainable financial independence. The Board of Directors consists of the CEOs or senior executives of EFQM members. Directors are elected for a two-year period. They elects one of them to Chair the Board.

The Chairman and Members of the Board are :

Andreas Wendt, BMW Group, Germany

Director of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing
Chairman of EFQM

Andreas Wendt has a PhD in mechanical engineering. Finishing his studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 1992, he has been working for 24 years within the car industry, including the companies of Robert Bosch und BMW Group. In several leadership positions he successfully implemented Kaizen and EFQM. Due to his work the organizations, he was responsible for, have been awarded twice. Both with the German “Ludwig Erhard Preis” and the European Excellence Award. Since 2013 he has been chairman of the EFQM (pro bono).

Sophie Bechu, Royal Philips, Netherlands

Executive Vice President
Chief of Operations, Order to Cash Excellence, Procurement, Global Services, Quality and Regulatory

Sophie Bechu joined Philips as Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations in September 2016. Sophie has extensive experience in operations, service delivery, procurement, supply chain, quality, engineering and strategic outsourcing. She has international experience working in Europe, Hong Kong, India and the USA. She leads Philips’ improvement in our operational excellence and drives our Order to Cash (O2C) initiative as the operational backbone of the company. This covers everything from the way the company receives a customer order, to producing the goods or services, to delivery, invoicing, collecting payments and offering a global, consistent service experience to customers. Sophie joins from IBM where she worked for more than 30 years and where she was most recently Vice President, Strategic Outsourcing, North America Delivery. In her former role she was responsible for the IT services delivery for the company’s clients in North America and this portfolio included Healthcare and Life Sciences businesses in the USA. Her key responsibilities included customer satisfaction, compliance and service level. Sophie holds a degree in Engineering from the Ecole Superieure d’Electricite, Paris, France. 

Grete Faremo, UNOPS, Denmark

Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General 

Grete Faremo joined UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. Before this appointment, she held various senior-level positions for the Government of Norway, including Minister of Justice and Public Security, Minister of Development Cooperation, and Minister of Oil and Energy. During her first appointment as Minister of Justice, Ms. Faremo initiated negotiations between Schengen member countries and Norway on security and free movement in Europe, which culminated in the Nordic Schengen Agreement, signed in 1996. From 2003 to 2008, she held the position of Director of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation's Western European Office. Ms. Faremo has sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career, including Norwegians Peoples' Aid, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment and the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway.  

Hans Kostwein, Kostwein Group, Austria

Managing Director

After having completed the studies of industrial engineering and management at the Technichal University of Graz, Hans started his career in the family business Kostwein Maschinenbau KG. Today, he is managing director of the Kostwein Group which incorporates 4 sites in Carinthia (Austria), one site in Croatia (founded in 2001) and one site in India (founded in 2010). In 2014, he was nominated to become a member of the EFQM-Board where he represents the small and medium enterprises of the machine industry.

Paul G. K. Little, City of Glasgow College, United Kingdom

Principal and Chief Executive

Paul is at the helm of Scotland’s leading college and is responsible for developing a new £228M world class twin campus in the heart of Glasgow’s Learning Quarter and along the River Clyde. Paul has successfully led and transformed five UK colleges and has earned a national reputation as one of the education sector’s leading reformers. He has studied with leading European business schools and is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. As a qualified yacht skipper, Paul served as a HM Coastguard Officer for 30 years and completed tours of duty with the US Coastguard.

Birte Lübbert, Robert Bosch GmbH

Director, Corporate Quality Management

Birte Lübbert has been appointed in 2018 as Senior Vice President Corporate Quality Management. She is a member of the Supervisory Board at Automotive Steering. She started her career at Robert Bosch in 1995 as Engineer Development of Electronic Control Units Diesel Systems in Feuerbach. In 1998, she was Senior Manager of Electronics Control Units Diesel Systems in Higashimatsuyama (Japan). In 2002, she worked as Senior Manager for Development of ABS and ESP Chassis Systems in Abstatt, in 2004, as Director Quality Management and Processes Automotive Electronics in Reutlingen, in 2007, as Vice President Production at Airbag Electronic Control Units in Ansbach, in 2010, as Technical Plant Manager Automotive Electronics in Madrid (Spain), then in Reutlingen in 2014. She studied electrical engineering at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH).

​​Nerea Torres, Siemens PPAL, Spain

Chief Executive Officer

Bachelor of Law with Masters in International Law (Lund Universitet, Sweden), Management Excellence (CEU), MBA (UAH), PADDB (Top Management Program in Digital Business –conducted by The Valley Digital Business School) and certified in Corporate Governance (IC-A). Over 17-year experience at Siemens, in addition to other positions as Executive Vicepresident of Club Excelencia en Gestión (CEG) and Advisory Board member of the Corporate Responsibility Professorship at Alcalá University, she has also been in charge of top responsibility positions in the company as Head of Marketing, Chairman’s Cabinet, Total Quality, Excellence and Corporate Responsibility Departments. In 2007 she moved towards the business management as Managing Director of ITS (Intelligent Traffic Solutions), IL (Infrastructure Logistics), and LAS (Logistics and Airport Solutions). She is currently CEO in SIEMENS PPAL, Spain (Infrastructure Logistics for Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics) and President of EJE&CON (Spanish Association for Executive and Board of Directors).

Franz-Peter Walder, Quality Austria, Austria

Member of the Board

Franz-Peter Walder holds a PHD in Technical Science and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Business Management (TU WIEN). He was lecturer at several Universities and is author/co-author of numerous books, publications and articles. In his professional career he is entrepreneur and managing partner of FACT Consulting, focusing on Strategic Management, Leadership, Business Excellence, and M&A projects. Franz was part of the successful establishment of the Austrian Excellence Award based on the EFQM Excellence Model in 1995. Since 2005 Franz is in charge of the Austrian Excellence Award, member of the jury and responsible Board Member of Quality Austria.  

Strategy Committee

The Strategy Committee meets 2 to 4 times a year. It assists the Board on strategic orientations and in the planning and deployment of the corresponding initiatives. It also supports EFQM’s management in bridging the gap between strategy and implementation.

The Strategy Committee Members are :

  • Hans Kostwein, Kostwein Group, Committee Chairman
  • Ferrie Aalders, Royal Philips
  • Ertfried Baeumel, Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Alessandro Carano, DG Economic and Financial Affairs - European Commission
  • Neil Donovan, UNOPS
  • Matt Byrom, Siemens
  • Ignacio Babé, Club Excelencia en Gestion
  • Patrick Margaria, EDF
  • Geert Opdenbosch, EFQM
  • Johann Simmel, BMW
  • Léon Tossaint, EFQM

Finance and Audit Committee

The Finance and Audit Committee meets at least twice a year and assists the Board of Directors on all financial matters. This includes budgeting and review of financial statements which are audited annually by KMPG.

The Finance and Audit Committee Members are :

  • Léon Tossaint, EFQM
  • Paul G. K. Little, City of Glasgow College
  • Sophie Bechu, Royal Philips
  • Geert Opdenbosch, EFQM

Nomination and Human Resources Committee

The Nomination and Human Resources Committee assist the Board of Directors for the nomination and remuneration of EFQM’s CEO. It meets on an as needed basis. It also assists the CEO on key HR issues if requested.

The Nomination and Human Resources Committee Members are:

  • Andreas Wendt, BMW, Committee Chairman
  • Hans Kostwein, Kostwein Group

What does Excellence mean to you?

Although there is no perfect answer to the above question we wanted to know what does Excellence mean to EFQM Board Members...

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