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ABB merges six automation businesses into three

01 November, 2003

ABB is merging its six automation business areas into three global business, with effect from 1 January, 2004. The reorganisation continues the shake-up which began in late 2002, when ABB merged its former automation technology products and industrial divisions, and combined 11 business areas into six.

One of the new business, Automation Products, will bring together the existing drives, motors, power electronics, low-voltage products and instruments operations. As with the other two new operations, it will be led by an ABB veteran, Tom Sjökvist, who has been with the company for more than 30 years. Anders Jonsson, currently manager of the drives, motors and power electronics activities, will be responsible for controlling costs, and managing supply chains and sourcing.

ABB`s robotics, automotive and manufacturing operations will be renamed Manufacturing Automation, and will continue to be run by Bo Ellison, who has been with the organisation for 29 years.

The third new business, Process Automation, will bring together ABB`s control products, petroleum, chemicals and life sciences, paper, minerals, marine and turbocharging activities, under the supervision of Martinus Brandal, who has 18 years of experience in the group. Teema Tunkelo, currently head of ABB`s control products business, will serve as technology leader and chief architect for the new business.

"To appreciate the logic of these new businesses, consider the needs of a major automation technologies user," explains Dinesh Paliwal, head of ABB`s Automation Technologies division. "Just one year ago, our customers had to deal with 11 different ABB organisation to finalise a new strategic relationship.

"These customers rewarded our first steps towards simplicity with four consecutive quarters where we achieved double-digit business improvement," he continues. "Now we are entrusting the industry`s broadest range of automation technologies to just three empowered, and exceptional, global teams."

Paliwal`s division employs about 56,000 people - down from 63,000 a year ago - and produced $8.5bn of revenue during 2002.

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