Chief Operating Officer (COO) appointed - KUKA establishes more efficient management organizations
Dr. Walter Bickel (50) will become the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a member of KUKA AG's Executive Board effective November 17, 2009
16 November 2009
As already announced, the new COO will focus on developing and executing the ongoing cost-cutting program. Dr. Bickel has many years of experience related to the execution of cost reduction programs. He has worked mainly in the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors for fourteen years, both for multinational and medium-size companies. The key focus of his assignments was integrated restructuring programs, in both the operational and financial areas. Dr. Bickel studied business administration at the University of Cologne and has a Diplom-Kaufmann degree (bachelor of commerce).
"KUKA has developed a clear road map," says Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG. "Key elements include executing the cost-cutting program under the guidance of an experienced COO, establishing an efficient management structure, successfully completing the refinancing and further developing product innovations. Thanks to this clear, forward-looking mission, we have been able to gain the trust of the investment community over the past few weeks and successfully increase our share capital by ten percent."
KUKA is establishing more efficient organizational structures at its KUKA Roboter GmbH and KUKA Systems GmbH management companies. Both companies will in future be led by two managers with clear responsibilities and assignments.
Mr. Manfred Gundel will become CEO of KUKA Roboter GmbH effective November 16, 2009. Manfred Gundel (44), who has been with KUKA for over 20 years, has already been a member of the management board of KUKA Roboter GmbH for the past five years. KUKA Roboter GmbH management team will then consist of Mr. Manfred Gundel (CEO) and Mr. Peter Plagens, who, as head of corporate accounting at KUKA AG, is provisionally a member of the Executive Board and is responsible for finance and controlling. Effective April 1, 2010 Michael Albert will take over the position as CFO of KUKA Roboter GmbH. Michael Albert has a Diplom-Kaufmann degree (bachelor of commerce) and was most recently director of finance at SÜSS MicroTec AG. Dr. Lothar Bakowsky left the management board of KUKA Roboter GmbH effective November 16, 2009.
Mr. Lawrence A. Drake was named CEO of KUKA Systems GmbH effective November 16, 2009. Lawrence A. Drake (49) has been successfully running KUKA Systems Corporation North America in Sterling Heights/USA since 1999, with sales of around € 200 million. He is able to look back on many years of management experience in a number of US mechanical engineering companies. KUKA Systems GmbH management board will then consist of Lawrence Drake (CEO) and Lutz Berneke (CFO) who is responsible for finance and controlling. Lutz Berneke (46) is responsible for finance and controlling at KUKA Systems GmbH since 2009. By mutual agreement, Dr. Stefan Söhn resigned from his position as CEO of KUKA Systems GmbH effective November 16, 2009. Dr. Söhn will remain associated with KUKA Systems GmbH in a consulting role. We would like to thank Dr. Söhn for his many years with us and for his outstanding activities within our Group. In addition, Dr. Karl-Heinz Körber, Mr. Alan Macdonald and Mr. Hans Moser were released from the executive board of KUKA Systems GmbH effective November 16, 2009, and will remain with the company in key positions.
Dr. Till Reuter commented on the personnel decisions as follows: "The newly appointed operations management supports the Executive Board's strategic goals. Together with the implementation of streamlined decision processes at the operational business units, we have established the conditions that will enable us to realize these goals."