Personalities – New Oerlikon Group CEO elected (updated November 18, 2013)


New Oerlikon Group CEO named

Taking up his duties formally on January16, 2014, Dr. Brice Koch (49) becomes new Oerlikon Group CEO

Koch held management roles over 20 years and is actually a member of ABB Group Executive Committee and head of the USD 8 billion Power Systems division. He holds a PHD in material science form Swiss ETH (Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich) in material science and has ample management experience. He speaks fluently English, French and German and is a member of the ETH Zurich Foundation Board of Trustees.

Jürg Fedier acting Interim CEO since March 14, 2013, will resume full time financial leadership of the Group as CFO during the first quarter of 2014.

Swiss Helvea (financial advisers) comments the election of the new CEO:

“We welcome the announcement of the new CEO after a search of seven to eight months. It adds the necessary management capacity at the top level of the company. It should enable to sharpen the company’s next phase of strategic development. Accordingly, the focus is likely to be fully on the use of the high cash pile of approximately one billion Swiss Frances in order to accelerate the growth of the company’s industrial portfolio within the next six to twelve months.”

TextileFuture’s comment: Probably this election has something to do that Oerlikon wants to acquire Metco (surface solutions) from Sulzer. With Koch’s background a total merger between Sulzer and Oerlikon would be manageable. For the time being Sulzer’s strategy is rather hazy, and is catering to amass cash through divestments without a clear future direction, for instance acquisitions. We would like to recall that Oerlikon and Sulzer have the same major shareholder. We repeat again that the chemical fibre business is  nice to have as a cash cow, but we insist that its future within the Oerlikon group is not yet secured. We will keep you posted on further developments.

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