ABB’s Board of Directors has appointed JÃ¶rgen Centerman, currently head of the company’s automation segment to succeed GÃ¶ran Lindahl as president and CEO effective January 1, 2001.
Lindahl said that after 30 years with the company – 15 of these in corporate management and four years as CEO – he felt it was the right time to hand over to a younger leader with a true IT profile. ‘The first steps in transforming ABB have been taken. Our organisation has responded well, and there is now a strong bottom-up drive for even faster change,’ Lindahl said. ‘This is promising, as the environment we act in is also changing faster and faster. I now feel it is the right time to hand over in order to safeguard a continued good development.’
Percy Barnevik, Chairman of the ABB Board, said Centerman has the right background to continue ABB’s push for IT-related innovation and the company’s expansion into knowledge-based and service-oriented activities. ‘Centerman has been deeply involved in the strategic shift of ABB into IT,’ Barnevik said.
Barnevik said: ‘When Lindahl now hands over to Centerman, he can look back on a very successful career at ABB. As the CEO in the last four years he has led the company in a new strategic direction, with a changed portfolio and major investments into the new IT economy. This has opened new opportunities for employees and better ways to serve our customers. The shareholders have benefited substantially and now own a company with lower liabilities and risk compared to only a few years ago.’
Jouko Karvinen, 43, at present business area manager for Automation Power Products, succeeds Centerman as head of the Automation segment and joins the ABB Group Executive Committee as Executive Vice President, effective Jan. 1, 2001.
The change of CEO does not affect ABB’s present strategy or its forecasts, the company said. Lindahl will remain a member of the ABB Board.