Jeremy Bishop, the Australian executive who had previously run SOLA International out of its headquarters in San Diego, is leaving as chief executive of Carl Zeiss Vision International, the group that came out of the merger of SOLA and its American Optical subsidiary with Carl Zeiss' ophthalmic business in March 2005. As it turns out now, he had already agreed to run the company, based in Germany, until the integration of its various components would be completed.
Most of the integration process has in fact been carried out, aside from some details that should be settled by the middle of November or so, and the group pointed out in a press release that the new company recorded a 10 percent sales increase to €426 million in the 1st half ended March 31. Another former top executive of SOLA, Mike Ashcroft, left the group at the end of last year after a decision to group the management of all the European operations under Rudi Spiller. Ashcroft, who played a decisive role in SOLA's sales development in Europe and the USA, had been placed in charge of the Western part of Europe after the merger.
Norbert Gorny, a 42-year-old German executive who has been a member of the executive board of the Carl Zeiss group since 2001, will be the new chief executive of Carl Zeiss Vision from Oct. 1 onwards. Gorny joined the Zeiss group in 1998 after almost five years as a business consultant at McKinsey & Co.. He led a turnaround of Zeiss' microscopy division, the oldest one within the group, making it profitable and gaining market shares. He changed its product portfolio completely, leading to some major technical awards. As a member of the group's executive board, Gorny also held responsibility for Zeiss' optronics and photo division and for the group's European subsidiaries.
Other changes are taking place within the group after Oct. 1. Michael Kaske will resign as chairman of Carl Zeiss Vision's advisory board to become its vice chairman. He will be succeeded in the role by Sune Karlsson, current vice chairman of the company and former executive director of ABB. Bishop, who is now 56 years old, will join the board, where the seat vacated by Gorny will be filled by Dieter Kurz, current chief executive of Carl Zeiss AG, the holding company that shares the ownership of Carl Zeiss Vision together with the Swedish EQT investment fund. New on the board of Carl Zeiss AG will be Heremann Gerlinger, a physics scientist who has been running a semiconductor and nanotechnology subsidiary of the group, Carl Zeiss SMT.