ABB board unanimous in pick of CEO

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ABB board unanimous in pick of CEO

Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB has appointed a new CEO, who has a background in oil and gas, utilities, telecoms and automotive industries and who was a key player in the acquisition of Baldor.


ABB's board chose to promote its head of Discrete Automation and Motion (DM) division, Ulrich Spiesshofer, to take the reins and replace outgoing CEO Joe Hogan.

"He has led a doubling of the division's revenues by organic and inorganic means, and the integration of Baldor, ABB’s largest ever acquisition," the Zurich-based company said in a statement about Spiesshofer's work at the DM division since 2009.

"ABB has developed a strong bench of talent: I am extremely pleased that the new CEO comes from within the company, and brings a solid track record and deep knowledge of the portfolio," said ABB Chairman Hubertus von Grünberg.

The company credited Spiesshofer helping it expand into new business areas such as e-mobility and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), as well as to better balance the business geographically.

Before joining ABB, Spiesshofer spent three years at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and 11 years at A.T. Kearney management consultants, where he built successful consulting businesses in industries including oil and gas, utilities, telecoms and automotive, in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

He has a master's degree in Business Administration and Engineering, and a PhD in Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Industry observers hailed the choice, which they said would ensure a level of continuity at the helm of the company.

The markets also appeared to welcome the announcement, pushing ABB's share price up 2.97 percent to 20.79 Swiss francs a piece in mid-morning trading, as the Swiss stock exchange's main index rose just 0.86 percent.

The Local/AFP/at

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