Robert Schad will retire within a year from Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., the company he founded in 1953 and currently leads as president and chief executive officer.
Schad, 76, made the announcement Dec. 7 at Husky's annual meeting in Toronto, after he gave a business report about the maker of injection molding machines, hot runners and robots.
Schad said Husky is looking to promote someone from inside the company, but gave no details.
``I have definitely decided that within one year I will step down. I will be on the board. I will play a role on helping the new management to some extent. Not very much, mostly on the technology side, and a bit of vision. But not the day-to-day operations - [that's] not my strength anyway,'' he said, then quipped: ``I think operations are doing much better since I don't run operations anymore.''
Husky officials, Schad said, have decided not to name his successor at this time.
``That will be in due course. We have very strong people in the company now that we have developed, that will take over.''
In the past several years, Husky has transformed itself from a specialist in PET preforms into a broad-line supplier of injection presses, based on a common Hylectric platform. At the same time, the North American market went through one of the worst periods in history. ``It's been a long, tough struggle to make this transition,'' Schad told shareholders.
But the Bolton, Ontario-based firm can point to some success. Automotive orders - a key new market - jumped 54 percent in fiscal 2004, ended July 31. In the first quarter, ended Oct. 31, automotive orders nearly tripled from the year-earlier quarter.
Husky has sold its Quadloc Tandem machines, which can hold two large molds on a single press, to automotive customers, Schad said. He also disclosed that Husky will introduce a two-shot press for molding automotive windows with an integrated frame.
Schad said plastics machinery will continue to be highly competitive. ``The market is getting a little bit better, but it's way below the historic highs and it's still erratic. And I don't think it'll change,'' he said. ``It'll probably be like this for a long time.''
Husky earned a profit of US$18.8 million in fiscal 2004 on sales of $773.7 million.