Press release December 2, 2019
Executive board members Frank Deinzer and Stefan Maly assume leadership of company.
Founders Casimir Katz and Thomas Fink set to transition to supervisory board on January 1, 2020.
Oberschleißheim/Nuremberg - Construction software developer SOFiSTiK has completed the succession plan it announced some time ago. Founders Thomas Fink and Casimir Katz have vacated their positions on the executive board effective December 1, 2019. The company is now managed exclusively by executive board members Frank Deinzer (46) and Stefan Maly (42). Both are civil engineers. Fink and Katz will remain shareholders of SOFiSTiK, which Mensch und Maschine has owned since acquiring a 51% stake in the company in January of 2019.
Frank Deinzer has worked at SOFiSTiK since 1999. In 2010, he became a member of the executive board. Stefan Maly’s career at SOFiSTiK began in 2003. He has been on the executive board since 2015.
Thomas Fink and Casimir Katz are handing off a highly innovative and profitable enterprise after dedicating 30 years to the advancement of SOFiSTiK. The industry has come to view SOFiSTiK as the standard software for structural engineering, especially for challenging bridge design projects. The software developer was also a pioneer of BIM (building information modeling) in German-speaking countries and remains one of the most successful companies in this field. Consequently, SOFiSTiK is participating in several large infrastructure projects under a plan by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to promote the adoption of BIM.
Founded in 1987 as a software company for structural engineering and design, SOFiSTiK has grown over the last few decades to become a major player. “With the rapid adoption of MS-DOS in the 1980s, PCs began to show up at small and mid-sized engineering firms,” said Thomas Fink. “That kicked off a wave of startups—all kinds of software companies were developing special applications for engineers. SOFiSTiK is one of the few companies from this era that remains successful today.”
“We’ve stayed curious and have been keeping a close eye on the market since 1976. Even before MS-DOS, the first FEA programs were already running on microcomputers,” said Casimir Katz. “When AutoCAD and Autodesk came along, we recognized the opportunity and developed our existing program, SOFiCAD, to be the de facto standard for formwork and reinforcement planning on AutoCAD.”
“And while Revit was still in its infancy, we were already convinced that this was going to be the next big thing. So, we did our BIM homework,” added Fink.
Nothing about this recipe for success is to change once the torch has been passed on to Frank Deinzer and Stefan Maly. “It was very important to us in preparing and selecting our successors that they would uphold the spirit of the company: visionary yet down to earth, courageous yet responsible.”
The new executive team lead by Frank Deinzer plans to stay the course. As the company’s most crucial success factor, creating customer-centric products will receive additional focus. Frank Deinzer is excited to shape the future of SOFiSTiK, which is a family business. “Planning teams are increasingly global, so there’s no getting around digital processes. We want to be a partner our customers can depend on to contribute to making these types of projects work. If our customers are doing well, all the stakeholders in the enterprise benefit, including the staff.” Both executives emphasized how important the careful succession planning conducted by the founders was. “Because we’ve had operational responsibilities for some time now, we know the customers and processes like the backs of our hands. We can implement our own strategic ideas right from the start since we don’t need to first get acclimated,” said Stefan Maly.