Michael Santa has left injection molding machine supplier Battenfeld of America Inc., where he was president and chief executive officer.
Contacted March 14, Santa confirmed industry speculation that he left the company in South Elgin, Ill. He said he left in early March.
Santa, a former top U.S. sales executive at Krauss-Maffei Corp. and Sodick Plustech Co. Ltd., was hired to the top spot at Battenfeld of America in 2002.
In a move announced in November, Battenfeld is restructuring its operations by closing its assembly factory in Meinerzhagen, Germany, and concentrating all production in Kottingbrunn, Austria.
In January, Wilhelm SchrÃ¶der left as managing director of Dusseldorf, Germany-based SMS Plastics Technology, which includes Battenfeld injection presses.
Santa, 46, said his decision to leave was not related to SchrÃ¶der's departure.
``It had more to do with the overall direction of the company,'' he said.
He left on good terms with Battenfeld and SMS, he said. ``I wasn't let go. It was truly a mutual agreement. It was a mutual understanding.''
Santa said he understands the changes at Battenfeld. ``They're implementing a strategy that is probably necessary and appropriate, but not in line with where I want to go with my career personally.''
Under Santa's leadership, Battenfeld of America moved to South Elgin from its longtime home in West Warwick, R.I. The company employs 35 at the South Elgin facility, which opened in August 2004.
Ron Ricapito, Battenfeld of America's chief financial officer and a company veteran, will take on the additional post of CEO.
Battenfeld officials in Germany were not available immediately for comment.
Santa said he is looking at job opportunities both inside and outside the plastics industry. If he stays in plastics, it might not be in machinery - Santa said he could end up on the processing side.