Percy Barnevik Passes The Baton

Goran Lindahl must push ABB faster into emerging markets

Jetting around the globe assembling and fine-tuning a vast business empire, Percy Barnevik has long seemed like "a human perpetual motion machine," as one observer put it. But even the chief of Zurich-based giant ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. seems to have his limits. On Oct. 10, the 55-year-old Barnevik said he would step down after eight years as president and CEO, turning over the reins to longtime sidekick Goran Lindahl. Barnevik will remain as nonexecutive chairman of the maker of power and other heavy equipment. "All the big acquisitions, the 70-to-80 hour weeks, have been a tremendous strain," Barnevik says.

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