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ABB reorganises its automation divisions

27 November 2009

Joe Hogan, ABB’s chief executive officer, says his company is reorganising its automation divisions effective 1 Jan 2010. The business units currently in the Automation Products and Robotics divisions will be regrouped into two new divisions – Low Voltage Products and Discrete Automation and Motion.

Joe Hogan, ceo of ABB
Joe Hogan, ceo of ABB

Tom Sjökvist, head of Low Voltage Products, and Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of Discrete Automation and Motion
Tom Sjökvist, head of Low Voltage Products, and Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of Discrete Automation and Motion

The Process Automation division will remain unchanged except for the addition of the instrumentation business, to be transferred from the Automation Products division.

Two new automation divisions
The new divisions will be comprised as follows:

Anders Jonsson, executive committee, and Veli-Matti Reinikkala head of the Process Automation division
Anders Jonsson, executive committee, and Veli-Matti Reinikkala head of the Process Automation division

The Low Voltage Products division includes businesses producing mainly low-voltage electrical equipment that is sold to wholesalers, original equipment manufacturers as well as system integrators, and has moderate service requirements. The division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $4.8 billion and about 19,000 employees.

The Discrete Automation and Motion division includes products and systems targeted at discrete manufacturing applications, such as robotics and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and provides motion in plants, such as motors and drives.

It also includes a the renewable sectors of solar and wind, as well as the rail segment. The businesses sell mainly to original equipment manufacturers, system integrators and directly to end users, and require a more intensive, tailored level of service. The division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $6.6 billion and also about 19,000 employees.

Process Automation will remain unchanged except for the addition of ABB’s instrumentation business, currently part of the Automation Products division. The instrumentation business includes temperature, flow, pressure, etc. The Process Automation division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $8.4 billion and about 29,500 employees.

Leadership changes
The reorganisation will be accompanied by several related leadership changes as of 1 Jan. 2010.
Tom Sjökvist, currently responsible for Automation Products, will become head of the new Low Voltage Products division. Mr. Sjökvist has led the low-voltage business for many years.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, who joined ABB in 2005 and is currently responsible for Corporate Development on the Executive Committee, has been appointed to run the Discrete Automation and Motion division. According to Mr. Hogan, Mr. Spiesshofer has led ABB’s strategic growth initiatives such as its service activities, and has played a key role in managing the company’s global footprint optimisation efforts and its $2-billion cost take-out program.

Anders Jonsson, currently responsible for the Robotics division, will have an Executive Committee role with responsibility for continuing the implementation of ABB’s current cost take-out program.

Veli-Matti Reinikkala remains head of the Process Automation division.


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