ABB chief executive steps down after operations overhaul
ABB’s new interim chief executive signalled business as usual today as the firm parted ways with boss of six years Ulrich Spiesshofer.
The move took markets by surprise, helping to push up stock prices by over five per cent this morning after a disappointing year for shareholders.
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Spiesshofer has overseen a transformation at ABB, helping to move it towards the digital industries sector, and divesting the firm’s power grids to Hitachi in December last year.
He will be replaced by chairman Peter Voser, a former Shell chief executive who headed up ABB’s finance department between 2002 and 2004.
Voser stressed that the power grids divestment would continue as planned with money going back to shareholders.
Meanwhile the firm aims to simplify its structure and find cost savings.
Voser praised Spiesshofer’s “dedication” to ABB in his 14 years at the firm. “Under his leadership, ABB has been transformed into a global technology leader focused in digital industries,” he said.
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Spiesshofer, who it was revealed agreed to step down in discussion with the board last night, said he would take “some time out” before moving on to a new job.
He said: “After 14 years of ‘all in’ dedication and commitment to all our employees and customers, I hand over to Peter a trimmed ABB ship that is on a clear course and gaining speed. I would like to warmly thank our colleagues around the world, customers and partners as well as the board of directors.”