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It had been announced for some time and is now the subject of a press release: after 35 years, the change of management at PROCAD in Karlsruhe has been completed. The company founder and long-time managing director Volker Wawer will retire at the beginning of 2021. He is a bedrock of the CAD and PLM scene in Germany. And it is not only this scene that is very much to be hoped that he will continue to contribute his expertise after relinquishing management responsibility at PROCAD.

The new leadership is a duo. Johann Dornbach and Gerhard Knoch have already been on board as the new managing directors for several months. They were featured in PLMportal / Die Digitalisierer in an interview on the impact of the Corona pandemic on industrial software vendors and their customers.


Volker Wawer (middle) with the two successors Gerhard Knoch (left) und Johann Dornbach (right) (Photo Sendler)

The transition comes at a time when the company is doing very well. PROCAD is now one of the leading software vendors in PLM for mid-sized engineering companies, and that is by no means limited to German-speaking countries. At the end of 2020, PRO.FILE next was presented in a virtual conference. It combines PLM, which has grown over many years, with the new possibilities of low code and, above all, the cloud.

The future topics – digital twin, digital prototyping, the management of physical and virtual components for the development of new cloud-based PLM and digitalization solutions – define the packed roadmap of the new management team. PROCAD wants to position itself even more strongly as a partner of medium-sized and larger technical companies that are adapting to the challenges of digitalization, IoT and Industrie 4.0 by using a PLM platform for holistic information management.

Gerhard Knoch has been responsible for the future direction of the company as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since July 2020. “For us, continuity of the values that have made the company great and innovative spirit are on an equal footing and characterize our aspirations. We want to take our customers on an exciting journey with new topics and functionalities and inspire them,” he is quoted in the press release on the change of leadership.

Johann Dornbach has already been Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at PROCAD since November 2019 and says: “We are pleased to be able to take on a proud legacy and look forward to working with Volker Wawer in an advisory capacity for a long time to come.”

With the two newcomers, Volker Wawer may have succeeded in something rare at the end of his operational management of an important German software manufacturer: finding the right people in time to keep the company on the road to success. And the conditions for this are not bad at all. The more such bigger vendor names as Autodesk, PTC and Dassault Systèmes lose their sound in the industrial software environment, and even bigger vendors such as Microsoft, SAP and Siemens join forces like mega corporations, the greater the opportunities will be for manufacturers who have always had to face the same demands for flexibility, speed and innovative spirit on an equal footing with SMEs.