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Changes at Palfinger

Palfinger’s chief financial officer Eduard Schreiner is to leave the company when his current contract expires in February 2008. Wolfgang Anzengruber, currently the chief executive officer, will take over the CFO role. Anzengruber has a finance background with experience as CFO in his previous jobs.

Martin Zehnder, 40, will become chief operating officer in January 2008, taking over responsibility for manufacturing from Anzengruber. Zehnder, a Swiss national, joined Palfinger two years ago as global manufacturing manager.
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Martin Zehnder

He started his career in 1984 at Alstom Schienenfahrzeuge, moving to Keystone Europe in 2000 as managing director development and production.

The responsibilities of the chief marketing officers Wolfgang Pilz and Herbert Ortner remain unchanged.

Palfinger says that by having one management board member responsible exclusively for production it will best be able to pursue its growth plans.

Vertikal Comment

Palfinger has been on a highly successful ‘roll’ this past three years as its crane business kept pace with a strong market. In the past year it has also managed to turn around its ‘other’ divisions, which include tail lifts, hook loaders and Bison, its powered access business.

These changes are more related to manufacturing than finance, if the company is to continue to grow at recent levels, it needs to focus on increasing its manufacturing capacity without incurring inefficiencies through un-structured capacity additions.

Anzengruber is not a manufacturing man, he is likely to be far more comfortable handling the group’s finances and investor relations etc… Meanwhile Zehnder has the chance to really show what he can do as he gains board level clout.

This looks like a logical and well planned management restructuring.