Swiss engineering conglomerate ABB (SIX: ABBN) has promoted the head of its automation and motion division to the chief executive role as a replacement to Joe Hogan who surprisingly stood down in May.

Ulrich Spiesshofer will succeed Mr Hogan on September 15.

Mr Hogan will continue as a senior adviser to the ABB board for “some months”, the company said in a statement.
Ulrich Spiesshofer
German-born Mr Spiesshofer, had been seen as a strong candidate for the job having overseen a doubling of revenues and an improvement in margins during his four years in charge of the DM division.

Hubertus von Grünberg, chairman, said he was pleased that the company had settled on an internal candidate, and that Mr Spiesshofer’s “deep knowledge” of ABB’s businesses would stand him in good stead.

Mr Speisshofer superintended the recent integration of Baldor Electric, the maker of industrial motors bought by ABB for $4.2bn in 2010, in what remains the Swiss group’s largest acquisition.

“Ulrich has been a key force in shaping and implementing ABB’s strategy, and the integration of Baldor stands out as a benchmark for successful large acquisitions,” he said.

Mr Spiesshofer, 49, said he was “excited” about the chance to lead ABB and was looking forward to working with his team. “Together, we will continue to drive profitable growth and relentless execution for the company,” he said.

Before taking charge of the DM division, Mr Spiesshofer was in charge of corporate development, a role in which he was closely involved in the development and implementation of strategy across all ABB’s businesses.

Before joining ABB, he spent 14 years working for the management consultants Roland Berger and A.T. Kearney.

ABB said that a new head of its DM division would be named in due course.

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