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Changes at the top for Zumtobel

23 August 2013 15.30 BST

(Austria) - Ulrich Schumacher appointed new CEO as Harald Sommerer and Mathias Dähn resign from board.

The Supervisory Board of Zumtobel AG has accepted the resignations of CEO Harald Sommerer and CFO Mathias Dähn effective 30 September 2013 due to “different views on the operational implementation of the global growth strategy during the important phase of the technology shift to LEDs”. 

As a result, Ulrich Schumacher has been appointed CEO of Zumtobel AG with effect from 1 October 2013. He will also be interim CFO until a replacement can be found.

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zumtobel AG, Jürg Zumtobel, expressed his pleasure at the appointment of Schumacher as new Chief Executive Officer: “In Ulrich Schumacher we have been able to recruit a proven technology expert with a track record of remarkable entrepreneurial successes. Under his leadership Zumtobel AG will be able to concentrate once again on its long-standing success factors – a strong technology focus on the one hand and ground-breaking expertise in aesthetic design and architecture on the other hand. Particularly in the important phase of the technology shift to LEDs and electronics, new opportunities are opening up for artificial lighting in terms of both functionalities and design. We must now systematically make use of these opportunities to build on our market position.”

Speaking about his appointment, Schumacher said: “For decades now the Zumtobel Group has been a world-leading high-tech company in the future-oriented lighting market segment. I am really looking forward to joining with the workforce and the Supervisory Board to shape the future of this company from now on. I am honoured that the Supervisory Board has entrusted me with this task.”

Schumacher holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and also studied Economics and Administration. In 1986 he began his career with Siemens, where from 1996 onwards he was President and CEO of the Semiconductor Group. In 1998 he was appointed to the Management Board of Siemens AG. In 2000 he took the carved-out and renamed Semiconductor Group public as Infineon Technologies AG.

On leaving the company in 2004 – in the interim Infineon had become the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer of semiconductors – he became a partner in Francisco Partners, a U.S. private equity firm specialising in technology buyouts. Here he generated several deals including the creation of Numonyx, a US$ 3 billion merger of Intel’s and ST Microelectronics’ Flash business.

From 2007 to 2011 Schumacher was CEO and President of Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, a partly state-owned Chinese enterprise in Shanghai. He was responsible for turning the company around from huge losses to healthy profitability. Since 2011 he has held several board positions and provided consultancy services to technology companies.

As Jürg Zumtobel summed up: “In the world of LEDs and microelectronics, today more than ever we depend on technological expertise to drive forward the product portfolio of all three Group brands through innovations and expand our Controls and Services activities. Last year we were already able to recruit a proven technology specialist and industry insider for our Group in the shape of the new CEO of our Components business. Now, with the appointment of Ulrich Schumacher we have been able to acquire the services of a high-calibre manager and technology expert for the Management Board of the Group as well. As a result, with our top management line-up we are exceptionally well placed to master the challenges of the future.”


Ulrich Schumacher, Zumtobel's new CEO.
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