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Norican Group Norican Announces Resignation of CEO - and Names a New One

Editor: Matthias Brandstätter

At Norican, personnel changes are in the process: The long-standing managing director Robert E. Joyce, Jr., resigns from the company's top management in order to make way for new approaches. Anders Wilhjelm will take over the chairmanship as of April 2019.

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Changes in the top management of Norican: Robert is stepping down as managing director, while Anders Wilhjelm will head the company from 01 April 2019.
Changes in the top management of Norican: Robert is stepping down as managing director, while Anders Wilhjelm will head the company from 01 April 2019.
(Bild: Pixabay / CC0 )

Norican Group, a majority-owned, private equity portfolio company of Altor, was informed yesterday by Robert E. Joyce, Jr of his intent to resign his duties as President & CEO, and as a director on the Norican Group’s board, effective Sunday March 31, 2019. However, shortly after the publication of this news, it was made public that the Danish group had already been able to recruit a new manager: Anders Wilhjelm will join the Norican Group as CEO and President on April 2019, reporting to Mr. Jean-Marc Lechêne, the Chairman of the Board.

Robert E. Joyce Leaves after a Successful Year 2018

“After seventeen years of leading this great organization and having just recorded record revenue and EBITDA performance in 2018, the time is right for Norican to pursue its next phase of strategic leadership”, commented Mr. Joyce. “While I am proud of what our team has accomplished since 2002, the time has come for a fresh approach to Norican’s journey. In discussions over the past few months with Norican Group’s Chairman, Mr. Jean-Marc Lechêne, and with Altor’s lead partner Mr. Søren Johansen, we agreed that it was the proper time for the team to implement a transition of leadership. Accordingly, I will be resigning my responsibilities as a Board Director, President and CEO this coming Sunday, while remaining a significant shareholder through the balance of Altor’s investment period.”

The 56-year-old closed with this observation, “It has been my great privilege to work with such a dedicated and professional team over the course of my career. I ask that they continue to show the same level of dedication and professionalism to my successor.”

“It is with a lot of emotion that we say goodbye to Rob today”, said Mr. Lechêne. “During his long tenure, he has established Norican as a worldwide leader in parts formation and parts preparation while building a great team. Rob can take legitimate pride in what he has achieved! And, on behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I wish him every success and satisfaction in this new chapter of his life that is opening.”

Anders Wilhjelm Takes Over the Management

Anders Wilhjelm brings to Norican Group a breadth of line management operational expertise and relevant board experience. After starting his career in Carlsberg A/S and McKinsey & Co., Anders spent ten years in a series of escalating international leadership roles within Danisco A/S ending as Executive Vice President. After Danisco, Anders spent the next six years as President & CEO of GEA Process Engineering, a global project business of close to €2 billion in revenue. His most recent leadership role was as Group CEO of Solar A/S. Augmenting his operational experience, Anders also brings relevant board experience to the Group, including current board positions in Biomar A/S, DAT-Schaub A/S, Tresu Group A/S and BIMobject AB (Chairman).

“We are pleased to welcome Anders as the new President and CEO of Norican Group. To be able to attract an executive of his caliber, experience and intellect is yet another milestone in Norican’s journey,” says Jean-Marc Lechêne. “We look forward to working with him on the next phase of our strategic evolution.”

“I am very excited about joining the Norican team,” says Anders Wilhjelm. “Norican is a strong combination of knowledgeable people, great technologies, a global business, and an owner team I already enjoy working with.”

Who's Anders Wilhjelm?

Italpresse Gauss asked the new CEO about his business approach, his passion for technology and a little about himself. Take a look at the interview here:

Anders, what is your business background and why did you decide to take the reins at Norican?

I have spent most of my career in international leadership and board-level roles at B2B companies, latterly as Group CEO of Solar A/S and prior to that, President and CEO of GEA Process Engineering. However my business focus and career passion has always been the combination of technology and global business development, which is what brought me to Norican Group.

Norican is a strong combination of knowledgeable people, a global network and an owner team I already enjoy working with. Combine this with the exciting developments that are taking hold across the group from digital connected technologies to simple engineering innovations – ideas truly are currency at Norican, which is why I didn’t need much time to think when the Norican opportunity was presented to me.

What excites you about joining Norican Group?

The pure potential. As a company that comprises the four technologies of DISA, Italpresse Gauss, StrikoWestofen and Wheelabrator, Norican has the breadth and depth to solve industry challenges. Our equipment offer combines to cover everything from melting and casting to part preparation and finishing - everything focussed in metal. Adding to this, each of the technologies is an industry leader in its own right, so the opportunity to inspire customers with the potential performance gains offered by equipment from across the group, is truly exciting.

I was also impressed by the groupwide approach to innovation and data usage, exemplified by the creation of Norican Digital. As such I believe the company’s future is even more exciting than its past.

Finally for me, the key ingredient to success is people, and here the teams across Norican wear their passion for innovation with pride and are genuinely committed to customers. Group success is about teamwork, shared values and speed. With these qualities in abundance I believe we have what it takes to succeed for ourselves and for our customers.

What approach will you bring to the business to ensure we continue improving and delivering leading equipment and excellent services to customers?

I am a big believer in empowerment and avoiding bureaucracy to maximise business speed. Speed is a culture. You cannot buy more time – it’s the ultimate scarce resource. In a company the size of Norican, you need structure and process to manage operations, so my focus will be devoted on ensuring all of these processes are as effective, connected and seamless as possible for the benefit of customers.

In business I also pride myself on being competitively paranoid and never taking a customer or a market position for granted. That’s why I am determined this business will extend its reputation as a leader in innovation, to continue fuelling customer growth.

Lastly, I think it’s very important to be professionally humble and constructively dissatisfied – and to use these traits to improve… always.

And finally, please tell us a little bit about yourself…

I have been happily married for 23 years and have two grown-up kids. Having had the pleasure of living in four countries on three continents, I have now returned to my native Denmark where I live in Copenhagen.

This article is based on a press release from Norican Group.

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