Helmut Eschwey, a high-profile German plastics machinery leader, is leaving SMS Plastics Technology - known for its Battenfeld, American Maplan and Cincinnati Extrusion lines - to take the top job at German precious metals and technology giant Heraeus Holding GmbH.
Eschwey also is chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Division of VDMA, the German plant and equipment trade association. In 2001, he also was president of the giant K trade show, held in Dusseldorf, Germany.
He could not be reached June 6. An SMS Plastics Technology spokeswoman said he would not make any public comment until a June 23 media reception on the first day of NPE 2003 in Chicago.
As he leaves plastics machinery, Eschwey, 53, will catapult up to a much larger company. He did issue a comment in a news release that Heraeus issued June 5 announcing it had hired him as chairman of the managing board. He said he looks forward to helping shape the future of the technology group, which employs 9,000 worldwide and has sales of 6.4 billion euros ($7.5 billion).
Current sales for SMS Plastics Technology were not available, but in a news conference before K'2001, the Meinerzhagen, Germany-based company said its 2000 sales were $523 million. He has served as chairman of SMS Plastics Technology since 1994. He also is a member of the managing board of parent company SMS AG in Dsseldorf.
Exactly when his last day will be at SMS Plastics Technology is not clear. A German business magazine called Manager, which reported the story on its Web site June 4, said he will start at Hanau-based Heraeus in September. The Heraeus news release only said he would start ``shortly.''
The chairman's position was open after Horst Heidsieck left the company. Jrgen Heraeus, chairman of the company's supervisory board, called Eschwey a ``competent, team-oriented and internationally minded'' executive who understands how to run privately owned companies. Eschwey also will become director of labor relations.
Heraeus Holding runs more than 100 subsidiaries and associated companies in the businesses of precious metals, dental health products, sensors, quartz glass and specialty lighting sources.
Officials were not available for comment at VDMA, the machinery trade association in Frankfurt, Germany.
SMS brands include Battenfeld injection presses and extruders, Battenfeld Gloucester film equipment and extruders from American Maplan and Cincinnati Extrusion.