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Thursday, 05 March 2009


From an independant management consultant to Chairman, wow!

Make no mistake, Dr. Kaufmann is still the major stockholder and de facto owner of the company, and will continue to provide the direction and vision for the future. I'm sure he just doesn't want to have to run the company on a day-to-day basis, and probably never intended to do so.

Again, to be clear, I speak on supposition, not on solid knowledge--I have no insider connection to Leica or any other camera company, and I'm not privy to confidential information of any kind.


Ok I take the point but promoting a waiter to head chef seems strange to me; and are they saying their was no-one else on the board able/capable/willing to be chairman.
Leica have been a mixed up bunch for many years and until the reasoning becomes known I feel the trend continues.

I think it's a perfectly legit appointment...I think Herr Spiller used to be in charge of one of the divisions at at Zeiss (photogrammetry? if it's the same guy. My memory seems to get worse by the month). He's an industry vet with experience.

The Best Buy guy didn't work out, but don't hold that against them. It happens.


I'd expect Leica to alternate uncomfortable and comfortable leaders. Steven Lee was distinctly uncomfortable, and large parts of the Leica community (like the dealer chain) really hated him. But he shook things up, which I think probably helped. When he had made enough enemies and promised in public enough things that simply can't be done, it was time for comfortable managers to get the implementation done. CEOs are disposable.


John, please bear in mind that the Chairman (or Speaker) of the Board of Management of a German stock corporation is not the same as e.g. the CEO in a US stock corporation. The German Chairman is merely a "primus inter pares" among the board members, while a CEO is "da man".

When Dr. Kaufmann took over from Steven Lee, he was taking the position on a temporary basis and said he would step down at the end of February 2009.

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