Following disappointing mid-year results, the board of directors of OC Oerlikon has named Hans Ziegler, delegate of the board of directors and acting CEO, effective immediately.Uwe Krüger, CEO since 2007, is leaving the company.
Mr. Ziegler has served on the board since 2008 and is familiar with the company. He and the management team will guarantee continuity of operational and restructuring programs in this highly challenging economic environment.
"Our decision was made in light of OC Oerlikon's semiannual results. OC Oerlikon's sales fell by 40% and order intake by 39% in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008 amid an economic downturn of unprecedented proportions. The company urgently needs to secure coordination of strategic portfolio decisions with operational measures of OC Oerlikon's businesses. The announced management change ensures the alignment of the company's strategy with the interests of all stakeholders."
The Board of Directors confirms that OC Oerlikon's priorities are deleveraging, strengthening the balance sheet and successfully implementing all approved restructuring plans in order for the company to return to profitability. This includes consideration of all options with the objective to develop all of OC Oerlikon's business units so they and their employees can continue as successful businesses both within or outside the group.
Hans Ziegler will perform the duties of CEO until the Board of Directors selects a CEO among internal and external candidates.
Within the Oerlikon Textile division, the prolonged decline in orders, which started at the end of 2007, stabilized at a historically low level in the first half of the year. This led to sales of about $405 million, a 55% decline, and incoming orders of $450 million, a 47% drop, in the textile segment. The extensive restructuring program, which aims at reducing the break-even point by $471 million by 2010, cushioned the impact of the fall in volume and is expected to improve performance further in the coming months. In the first half of 2009, EBIT totaled $111 million compared to $200 million for the prior-year period. EBIT for the first half-year of 2008 was impacted by $188 million goodwill write-offs.