ABB taps Ulrich Spiesshofer as new CEO

Swiss engineering giant ABB has appointed Ulrich Spiesshofer as new chief executive officer.

Spiesshofer, currently head ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion (DM) division, will succeed outgoing chief executive Joe Hogan in September.

Hogan, who announced his resignation in May due to private reasons, will continue with ABB for some months as senior advisor to the board.

Under Hogan’s watch, ABB has expanded its photovoltaic activities, most recently acquiring California-based inverter manufacturer Power-One.

The purchase will make Power-One part of ABB’s DM division. ABB said the planned acquisition would make it a leading global supplier of solar inverters.

Spiesshofer joined ABB’s executive committee in 2005 and in 2009 took the reins at the DM division, where he has led a doubling of the division’s revenues as well as the integration of Arkansas-based Baldor Electric Company — ABB’s largest ever acquisition. Spiesshofer has initiated other business expansion activities in DM based on organic growth and acquisitions, helping the division to grow faster than the market and to expand into new business areas such as e-mobility and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), as well as to better balance the business geographically, ABB said in a statement.

"ABB has developed a strong bench of talent," said ABB Chairman Hubertus von Grünberg. "I am extremely pleased that the new CEO comes from within the company and brings a solid track record and deep knowledge of the portfolio. 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."

Hogan added: "Ulrich has done a tremendous job in DM based on the solid knowledge and experience acquired in many successful years within ABB and outside. With his strong contribution and team-oriented collaboration, our mid-term strategy has been making great progress."

ABB said it would announce Spiesshofer’s successor as head of DM in due course.

Prior to taking over DM, Spiesshofer was responsible for corporate development at ABB.