Klaus Erkes, the top executive who guided Demag Plastics Group through one sale, then a restructuring, and another sale this month to Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., left the company March 15.
Erkes was president and chief executive officer of DPG, a Schwaig-based maker of injection molding machines. DPG issued the announcement March 13. According to a news release, Tetsuya Okamura of Sumitomo will join the management board of Demag Plastics Group. Okamura will work with DPG's chief financial officer, Uwe Rohfleisch, to integrate the companies from Germany and Japan.
Reached by phone in Germany, Erkes said it was his decision to leave. He starts a new job March 17 running a large German holding company in the machine tool industry, he said. The firm is not part of the plastics industry, he added.
In a sale that closed March 3, Sumitomo paid 77.6 million euros ($119.6 million) for Demag Plastics Group. Sumitomo's Plastics Machinery Division is based in Chiba City, Japan.
In the news release, Erkes said DPG is in a strong position after two years of restructuring.
``Mr. Rohfleisch and the management team installed by me stand for continuity of the strategy implemented by Demag. My task, to pilot Demag into a safe harbor, has been accomplished.''
DPG announced some other changes in DPG's supervisory board. Tsuneo Nagano and Thomas Muller, both for Sumitomo, will replace Henning Scheele and Peter Sassenfeld. Scheele and Sassenfeld had represented DPG's former parent company, Mannesmann Plastics Machinery GmbH, on the board.
In his statement, Erkes called the merger of Sumitomo and Demag Plastics Machinery ``an important milestone for the consolidation in the injection molding [machinery] industry, which has been long overdue.''
Erkes shepherded DPG through some major changes. He joined DPG in the top spot in 2005, when MPM was owned by New York buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. In 2006, KKR sold the machinery group to Madison Capital Partners, a Chicago investment group.
DPG, which had struggled financially, underwent restructuring under both owners that included layoffs and the closing last year of assembly operations at the old Van Dorn factory in Strongsville, Ohio. At the same time, DPG expanded its plants in China and India.
Erkes and management also streamlined the firm's products, cutting some models and reducing costs. MPM made DPG a separate business and put it up for sale.
The latest deal, selling DPG to Sumitomo, was announced in early February, and closed a month later.