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Zumtobel Falls After CEO Quits on Strategy: Vienna Mover

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Zumtobel AG fell the most in five months after the Austrian lightmaker said its chief executive and chief financial officers will leave following disagreement over the company’s strategy.

The shares fell as much as 75 cents, or 7.3 percent to 9.55 euros and traded at 9.60 euros a share at 10:50 a.m. local time. It was the biggest intra-day drop for the Dornbirn, Austria-based company since March 5 and gave it a market value of 419 million euros ($560 million).

Zumtobel accepted the resignation of CEO Harald Sommerer and CFO Mathias Daehn after “intensive discussions on the future strategic direction” of the company, it said in a statement late yesterday. The two board members and the supervisory board held different views on Zumtobel’s focus on LED technology, it said.

Ulrich Schumacher, 55, will succeed Sommerer on Oct. 1, while the search for a new CFO is expected to be concluded in the coming months, the company said.

Zumtobel has cut more than 200 jobs since March as it shifts from older technologies to LED products. It is closing a plant in Fuerstenfeld, Austria and selling another in Melbourne. The technology shift is connected with “substantial structural and financial challenges,” Sommerer wrote in the company’s latest annual report.

“Given the uncertainty with a transition period to a new management,” there will probably be no details on guidance for the current financial year, Andreas Willi, a London-based analyst at JPMorgan, wrote in a note to clients. He advised investors adopt a neutral stance on the stock, withdrawing a previous recommendation to overweight shares in their portfolios.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Weber in Vienna at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at

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