HAMBURG, GERMANY and PLYMOUTH, MI-Günther Braun has been named president and CEO of industrial-laser manufacturer Rofin-Sinar Technologies. Braun has served as CFO of Rofin-Sinar Technologies since 1996 and has been CEO and chairman on an interim basis since January 13, 2005, after CEO Peter Wirth suffered a stroke. Braun will also serve as CFO while the company conducts a search for his replacement.
According to the company, Dr. Wirth is progressing very well and intends to continue to play an active part in leading the company as executive chairman of the board.
“I am happy to have recovered so well and look forward to resume my responsibilities for RSTI. But under the given circumstances, with limited traveling in the foreseeable future, I am happy that Günther was appointed CEO and president and takes over some of my responsibilities,” Wirth said. “Günther’s long-lasting experience and in-depth knowledge of the industrial-laser markets makes him the perfect choice to guide the company into a successful future. I will continue to play an active role as chairman of the board and support Günther in all fields.”
Braun has been executive vice president, finance and administration, CFO and treasurer, as well as a member of the board of directors, since September 1996. Since 1994, he has also been the financial director for Rofin-Sinar Laser GmbH. He joined Rofin-Sinar in 1989 as a result of Rofin’s acquisition of Coherent General’s Laser Optronics marking division.
In related news, Rofin-Sinar reported a 26% increase in second quarter sales over the second quarter of 2004 and a 55% increase in income year over year for the second quarter-the second most profitable quarter in the company’s history. Net sales for Q2 2005 were $95.4 million, compared to $76 million for Q2 2004, while net income was $8.7 million for Q2 2005 vs. $5.6 million for Q2 2004. Looking ahead, however, the company remains cautious.
“Due to the macroeconomic conditions in the machine tool industry in Europe and the automotive industry in North America, we believe we will see some softening in our macro business in the near term,” Wirth said. “In the marking business, demand from the semiconductor sector is still relatively low. However, we continue to enjoy a solid backlog and expect positive market signals during the world’s largest laser exhibition in June 2005 in Munich, where we will introduce new products, especially in our slab laser product line.”