Sulzer Forced to Seek New Chief to Drive Cost-Cutting Program

Sulzer Chief Executive Officer Klaus Stahlmann said he will step down, forcing the Swiss maker of pumps to seek a new leader as it cuts hundreds of jobs and faces a takeover from its largest shareholder.

Stahlmann, who has led the company for more than three years, wants to pursue other opportunities and a search for his replacement is under way, Sulzer said in a statement Monday.

Shares in Sulzer rose 1 percent to trade at 106 francs as of 3:00 p.m. in Zurich, for a market value of 3.63 billion francs ($3.68 billion).

Sulzer earlier said it would cut jobs to streamline manufacturing at its pumps operation in Brazil, U.S. and China. The measures will affect about 410 employees. Last week, Renova Group, the investment vehicle of Viktor Vekselberg and the biggest shareholder of Sulzer, triggered a public tender offer for the rest of the pump maker after boosting its stake beyond the one-third mark.

A spokesman for Sulzer said Stahlmann’s resignation was a personal decision, and not connected to job cuts announced today or to a takeover offer by its largest shareholder last week.

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