ABB’s U.S. Electrification Business Under New Leadership

Maryrose Sylvester, a former GE executive and software specialist, takes over

ABB’s U.S. business has a new chief. The Zurich-based industrial-tech conglomerate appointed Maryrose Sylvester, an industrial and software specialist and former General Electric executive, to the positions of United States country managing director and U.S. head of electrification business. Sylvester will replace company veteran Greg Scheu, who is due to retire, ABB Group said in a June 12 press release. Her tenure officially begins August 1.


Maryrose Sylvester—ABB Group photo

ABB’s executive structure has been shuffled twice in 2019 at the behest of active shareholders, the first being Ulrich Speisshofer’s agreed-upon resignation from the top position of CEO in April. As EA reported at the time of that move, many large industrial-tech conglomerates are in flux of late. General Electric, Sylvester’s old home, has made a number of highly publicized moves (often in an effort to quell highly publicized woes). Siemens, Emerson, Honeywell, and United Technologies have all restructured businesses in the past year. 3M went out of its way to shake the “conglomerate” label in 2018. Most recently, Kyoto, Japan-based industrial automation company Omron appointed a new CEO to its Microscan “traceability” division June 17, Andy Zosel. Expect this trend of shuffling to continue as these powerful and far-reaching companies try to get a hold on things.

Sylvester is a board member of Harley-Davidson and a member of the board of governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. She also sat on GE’s Corporate Executive Council and its Commercial Council, and was a member and co-founder of GE’s Women’s Network.

In the “CMD” role, Sylvester will receive transitional support from Scheu until his retirement at the end of October 31, 2019.

Sylvester was most recently President & CEO of “Current, powered by GE”, a GE startup business that was acquired in April by New York-based private equity firm American Industrial Partners. Having spent her career at GE, she held several executive-level positions, including President & CEO of GE Lighting, of GE Intelligent Platforms/GE FANUC, which was GE’s longest-running joint venture with a Japanese company, and of GE Quartz.

“Maryrose Sylvester brings extensive experience of managing and transforming industrial businesses and of applying digital technologies in industry,” said ABB Chairman and CEO, Peter Voser. “Her proven track record at GE makes her an ideal candidate to run our Electrification business in the US and to be our CMD for the US.”

Voser also took the time to thank Scheu for his contributions to ABB.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, I would like to thank Greg Scheu for his many years of committed service to ABB in numerous leadership roles, and especially for his strong contributions as Region President Americas, US Country Managing Director, and head of Group service and business integration,” Voser said. “Under his direction, ABB has significantly strengthened its market presence in North America and positioned itself as a digital technology leader among key customer groups. We wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

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