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ABB boss bows out in favour of "younger leader"

ABB chief, Goran Lindahl, is to step down at the end of the year

(Keystone)

The Swiss-Swedish technology group, ABB, has named a new chief executive and postponed a planned listing on the New York stock exchange.

The current CEO, Goran Lindahl, is to step down at the end of the year. He will be replaced by the head of the automation division, Jörgen Centerman.

Lindahl, who has been CEO for the past four years, said in a statement that he felt it was time to hand over "to a younger leader with a true information technology profile".

Lindahl will remain a member of the company board.

ABB is transforming itself from a company based on heavy industry and power generation into a technology-based group.

The group also announced it is postponing a planned listing on the US stock exchange.

It had planned the move for the second half of this year but said it would now wait until 2001 because of volatile equity markets, especially in the technology sector.

On Wednesday, ABB shares took a hammering on the markets, dropping by more than seven per cent. The share price has fallen 15 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Investors were also disappointed because the company made no reference to new acquisitions in its nine-month earnings statement.

In the statement, ABB reported that nine-month net profits were up 13 per cent at SFr2.25 billion ($1.25 billion) in line with analysts' expectations.

ABB said full year net profit would increase by more than last year and that it was on track to boost its operating margin to 12 per cent by 2003.

swissinfo with agencies


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