Frank Mühlon says goodbye as ABB CEO

Frank Mühlon is no longer CEO of ABB E-Mobility. The manager is moving to the role of chief commercial officer (CCO) with immediate effect. Michael Halbherr will take over as interim CEO of ABB’s e-mobility division with its charging pillar business.

Mühlon had helped build and lead the charging pillar business of the Swiss-Swedish industrial group – officially as Head of ABB’s Global E-Mobility Infrastructure Solutions at the time. When the division was spun off as ABB E-Mobility in preparation for the planned IPO, Mühlon took over as CEO. But the experienced charging infrastructure manager will also remain with the company in his new role.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Frank for his dedication in successfully bringing ABB E-mobility to where it is today, having recently attracted funding from investors who share our belief in the company’s long-term vision,” says Executive Chairman and interim CEO Halbherr. “We are also delighted that he will continue to play a key role in our growth story. The Executive Committee will drive the company’s continued growth, focusing on customer satisfaction and deepening its hardware and software capabilities to ensure technology leadership in our customer-facing business lines.”

Mühlon himself does not get a word in edgewise in the announcement. The exact motivations for the replacement at the top are not mentioned in the announcement, nor has a permanent successor for interim CEO Halbherr been promised yet. The statement only says that ABB E-Mobility wants to increase its customer focus as part of its strategy. To this end, ABB will drive growth “in the three customer-centric business lines of public, transit & fleet and home & work”. It will “accelerate strategic investments in market leading hardware and software platforms”.

Two more additions to ABB E-Mobility’s Executive Committee

It is against this backdrop that Halbherr was arguably appointed interim CEO, as ABB says he has a “strong background in software and high-tech industries”. Halbherr has held various leadership positions in the software and technology sector, including navigation pioneer gate5, Nokia and Here Technologies.

Two new members have also been appointed to ABB E-Mobility’s executive committee, according to the parent company: Daniel Alarcon as chief digital officer (CDO) and Francesco Mennucci as chief operations officer (COO).

There is also another, more formal change: in view of the still planned IPO, ABB’s E-Mobility division will now no longer be reported as part of the Electrification business unit, but as a sub-segment of Corporate and Other at ABB. The shareholders of ABB E-Mobility Holding AG approved all the proposals of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. The meeting was attended by representatives of ABB, which holds a majority stake in ABB E-Mobility of around 80 per cent, and representatives of six other shareholders.

Michael Halbherr was confirmed as Chairman of the Board of Directors by the AGM. Three representatives of the ABB Board (Morten Wierod, Carolina Granat and Andreas Wenzel) were re-elected for a further term of office alongside three independent board members for ABB E-Mobility (Håkan Samuelsson, Peter Molengraaf and Richard Silén). Annette Köhler did not stand for re-election. With these re-elections, four of seven ABB E-Mobility board members are independent.


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