Antwerp, 7 March 2020 – Technology company Rombit appoints John Baekelmans as new CEO. Baekelmans (former Vice President and Managing Director at imec) succeeds founder Jorik Rombouts, who will further develop the international part of Rombit. Wouter De Geest (former CEO BASF Antwerp and chairman VOKA) becomes chairman of the Executive Board.

John Baekelmans starts in April as Chief Executive Officer of Rombit, the Antwerp-based technology company that develops digital solutions for the port industry. Founder Jorik Rombouts remains active within the company as the main shareholder and focuses full-time on the further internationalization of Rombit.   

Wouter De Geest, John Baekelmans and Jorik Rombouts

Rombouts says: “I am very pleased that Baekelmans and De Geest have accepted my offer to take an active role in the company. They have been on my advisory board for years and know the company inside out. So both are seasoned managers with an extensive network in the technological and industrial sector. I couldn’t have wished for better captains for Rombit.”

Product development and professionalization

John Baekelmans has been active for many years as Managing Director of the successful technology companies Cisco and imec. At Rombit he will run the daily operations. “Rombit has a lot to offer: a strong team, great customer references in Belgium and abroad. As well as promising product innovations such as the industrial safety wearable Romware. My ambition is to make the company profitable and to successfully continue product development and professionalization”.

International entrepreneurship

According to the Antwerp entrepreneur Rombouts, delegating is key to building an internationally scalable organization. “Thanks to John, who is taking over full operational management of the company, I get the space again to do what I’m passionate about: meeting customers, networking and exploring new markets for Rombit.”

Chairman of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors will also be rearranged. Jorik Rombouts passes on his chairmanship to Wouter De Geest, the former CEO of BASF Antwerp. Since the second capital increase at the end of 2019, the Board of Directors includes several industrial key player. Among them the Swerts family (Soudal) and the InvestLink technology fund, in addition to the Rombouts family.