ABB announces the departure of CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, to be replaced on an interim basis by Chairman Peter Voser.

ABB +5.3% pre-market; shares have lost 6.5% since Spiesshofer took the helm in September 2013.

Under Spiesshofer, ABB has sought to become more of an industrial automation company and is selling its Power Grids business to Hitachi in an $11B deal.

Voser, once the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell and ABB’s CFO during 2002-04, says he would continue to make ABB more of an industrial automation company.

The companies two largest shareholders, Investor AB and Cevian capital, support the leadership change.

In its Q1 earnings report, ABB said revenue rose 6% Y/Y but profitability fell due to the integration of the low-margin General Electric Industrial Solutions business.


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