OG-Aust-July-2016-46ABB has appointed Tauno Heinola as managing director of ABB in Australia, effective 1 October, 2016.

Mr Heinola succeeds Axel Kuhr, who will become managing director in Japan.

ABB said Mr Heinola has been managing director in Finland since 2011 and originally joined the company in 1983 as a sales engineer in the drives business, later becoming the unit’s export manager.

In 1990 Mr Heinola moved to the drives business in Canada.

ABB said he founded ABB Beijing Drive Systems with a local partner in 1994, before being given responsibility for ABB’s largest profit center in the drives business in 1998 based in Finland.

Mr Heinola returned to China to lead the drives business in 2003.

ABB chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer thanked Mr Heinola and Mr Kuhr for their contribution.

The appointments are part of a leadership succession at ABB.

Mr Kuhr replaces Tony Zeitoun, who is currently managing director in Japan and will retire from ABB at the end of the year.

Pekka Tiitinen, currently president of the discrete automation and motion (DM) division, will succeed Mr Heinola as managing director in Finland, and Sami Atiya joins ABB as president of the DM division.

“Our early appointment of the successors in their respective roles will ensure an orderly handover and shows that our long-term leadership development plan and talent management is working well,” Mr Spiesshofer said.