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Full integration of Oerlikon Drive Systems to exploit synergies and growth in Asia - Strengthening of market orientation at Oerlikon Solar with new CEO

Pfäffikon SZ, November 29, 2010 - In line with the strategy to further optimize business and management structures for profitable growth, Oerlikon initiated fundamental changes in its Drive Systems and Solar Segments. 
The Business Units Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield become fully integrated in Oerlikon Drive Systems, whereas the brand names will remain. Gary Lehman has been appointed Segment CEO of Oerlikon Drive Systems effective December 1. Under his leadership Drive Systems will exploit synergies of the two Business Units, expand its business in Asia and complete restructuring.
Oerlikon Solar strengthens its market orientation to make the recently launched production line ThinFab a commercial success. Segment CEO Jürg Henz, who has with his technology competence substantially contributed to the development of the ThinFab, was replaced by Helmut Frankenberger - an international senior executive with outstanding sales and marketing skills as well as great experience in the coating, vacuum and solar businesses. 
"For the two Segments, which have not fully exploited their potential in the recovery of 2010, we have now taken the necessary decisions to ensure their sustainable and successful development," said Oerlikon CEO Dr. Michael Buscher. 
The strategy for profitable growth for Oerlikon Drive Systems is based on three pillars:

  • exploiting synergies by full integration of Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield under the Segment CEO Gary Lehman; 
  • accelerated and increased expansion into India and China; 
  • ongoing optimization of the Segment's cost structure and completion of running operational restructuring projects.

 Since 2003, Gary Lehman has successfully served as CEO of Oerlikon Fairfield where under his leadership turnover and earnings were significantly increased over a period of five years. Prior to Oerlikon Fairfield Mr. Lehman held senior management positions with Philips Electronics, ITT Automotive, and John Deere. Marcello Lamberto, who had served as CEO of Oerlikon Graziano, will ensure a smooth transition until May 2011 before retiring. "We thank Marcello Lamberto very much for his leadership and devotion for building Graziano into one of the globally leading suppliers in the transmission industry over the past 26 years", said Group CEO Buscher. Mr. Lamberto will hand over his regional responsibility to Paolo Ramadori, who will join the company by May 2011. 

Mr. Ramadori, 45 and an Italian citizen, is an experienced top executive coming from Bombardier Transportation where he was member of the management team of a challenging global Business Unit with responsibility for a project portfolio worth some billion Euros. Before joining Bombardier, Mr. Ramadori very successfully served for over 12 years in the automotive industry. He has strong sales and project management background with an impressive international experience and has lived several years in China, the USA, Brazil and France. Mr. Ramadori has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico of Milan, Italy. 

"Oerlikon Drive Systems' new strategy for profitable growth is part of our Three Year Business Plan which we have developed over the past few months. To accelerate the exploitation of the existing market potential of this Segment we jointly brought forward the related decisions", explained Group CEO Buscher. The Board of Directors has approved substantial investments, earmarked over the next five years, especially for the expansion in Asia. This includes the set up of a new production facility at Oerlikon's Chinese site in Suzhou. Oerlikon Group COO Thomas Babacan, who successfully developed the new strategy and organization for Drive Systems, will hand over his responsibility for this Segment to Group CEO Michael Buscher after the transition of management is completed until May 2011. In addition to his role as Segment CEO of Textile, Group COO Babacan will thereafter focus as a member of the Executive Committee on further operational key projects. "Our initiated change is a major step forward for Oerlikon Drive Systems. We have defined a clear path including additional investments so that the Segment can fully play out its strengths on a global scale. We are convinced that this will push mid- to long-term the sustainable development and profitable growth of Oerlikon Drive Systems", said Group COO Babacan.

Oerlikon Solar will strengthens its market orientation to make the recently launched production line ThinFab a real commercial success. With significant R&D investments throughout the past crisis and an accelerated execution of the technology roadmap, Oerlikon Solar was able to regain cost and technology leadership with the ThinFab. To ensure the change from technology to business orientation, Helmut Frankenberger has been appointed CEO of Oerlikon Solar effective December 1. He has an impressive track record as a senior executive in the coating, vacuum and solar businesses. From 2003 to 2009, he served as CEO of Leybold Optics and managed the turnaround of this company by significantly increasing revenue and profitability. Jürg Henz, since 2008 responsible for R&D at Oerlikon Solar and since November 2009 additionally CEO of the Segment, has left the company. "After the accelerated realization of our technological objectives, it is now of the utmost importance to utilize the market potential of our cost competitive and environmentally friendly production line ThinFab", said Group CEO Buscher. "The key objective of Helmut Frankenberger is to successfully position our Solar Segment in the challenging global solar market. We would also like to thank Jürg Henz very much for his great contribution in implementing our Technology Roadmap at Oerlikon Solar and his achievements within his long-term career at Oerlikon Textile. For his future we wish him every success." 

Helmut Frankenberger, 53 and a German citizen, has over 25 years of industrial experience and served very successfully in several international leadership positions. As CEO of Leybold Optics, he initiated and guided the photovoltaic strategy which contributed to the profitable growth of this company. Therefore he actively contributed to the development and market introduction of silicon thin-film solar equipment and turnkey solutions which is also valid for CIGS and crystalline machine equipment. Prior to his CEO position at Leybold Optics he held different management positions at Applied Films Cooperation, Oerlikon Bührle, Balzers Process Systems, Leybold Technology, Nippon Leybold and Leybold Heraeus, among others. In the course of his career he has also lived in Japan and the USA. Helmut Frankenberger has an electrical engineering degree from FH Rüsselsheim, Germany. "With his strong business development and sales skills, his engineering background as well as his international leadership experience, our new Solar CEO is very well equipped to master the upcoming challenges of our solar business," added Group CEO Buscher.

Based on solid financials and a long term oriented strategy, the Oerlikon management demonstrates with the changes for Oerlikon Drive Systems and Oerlikon Solar its commitment to profitable growth for all Segments of the Group.

For further information, please contact:

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Head of Group Communications

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