Carl Zeiss Vision announced on Jan. 13 that its chief executive officer, Norbert Gorny, had left for personal reasons, with immediate effect. The reasons for his abrupt departure could not be learned. His functions will be handled on an interim basis by Arne Frank, a representative of the EQT fund who was appointed chairman of Carl Zeiss Vision's supervisory board last spring.
Frank is described as a senior industrial adviser of EQT, the fund that owns 50 percent of Carl Zeiss Vision. From 1999 to the end of last year, the 50-year-old ran TAC, an information technology company for the real estate sector that EQT owned between 1998 and 2003. Under Frank, TAC grew from an annual turnover of €100 million to nearly €2 billion, partly through acquisitions. He remains as chairman of Contex, another company previously controlled by EQT, and as senior adviser to Schneider Electric, the new owner of TAC.
Officials of Carl Zeiss Vision said the strategies mapped out by Gorny will be pursued by the strong management board that he put in place until the appointment of a new CEO. That includes the planned launch of a major advertising campaign by the company, which is expected to present a special marketing support system for retailers at the Opti-München fair starting tomorrow. It should be first implemented in Germany and the Benelux countries.
Gorny joined the Carl Zeiss group in 1998 to run its light microscopy unit and became a member of its executive board in 2001. He became CEO of Carl Zeiss Vision in October 2006. Among other new initiatives, he led the integration of SOLA International, acquired by Carl Zeiss Vision in 2004.