ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer abruptly steps down

Switzerland: ABB’s Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer abruptly stepped down after nearly six years of leading the Swiss engineering company.

Chairman Peter Voser, 61, will take on the role in the interim during the search for a successor, according to a statement published on Wednesday. Spiesshofer, 55, and the board “mutually agreed for him to step down.”

“We’ve just started the process” to look for a replacement, Voser said on a call with reporters. The change was sealed following a late night board meeting Tuesday and came without a shortlist of candidates or timetable, he added.

Spiesshofer’s departure comes a few months after he announced the sale of ABB’s power-grid division to Hitachi Ltd. for about $6.4 B, leaving the manufacturer more focused on robotics and automation. On the call, Voser said the CEO role will evolve to focus on strategy and company culture, while allowing ABB’s four businesses to be run more independently.

Source: Bloomberg