August 9, 2018 / 12:15 PM / 4 months ago

CNH Industrial names Welbilt boss as its new chief executive

MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Trucks and tractor maker CNH Industrial has appointed Hubertus Muhlhauser as its new chief executive to succeed long-time boss Richard Tobin who resigned earlier this year.

Muhlhauser joins CNH Industrial from foodservice equipment maker Welbilt, where he was director, president and chief executive since 2015.

Before Welbilt he worked at agricultural equipment maker AGCO, where he headed the EMEA and Asia region businesses as well as the global engine division.

His appointment is effective from Sept. 17.

CNH Industrial has been through management upheaval in recent months, first due to the resignation of CEO Tobin in March and then the death of Chairman Sergio Marchionne announced late July.

The company named Suzanne Heywood to replace Marchionne, who fell seriously ill and later died after suffering complications following surgery.

Derek Neilson, who had been doing the CEO job at CNH Industrial on an interim basis, will continue in his role of chief operating officer for the EMEA region and president of the commercial vehicles products segment, the company added.

One of the first matters on Muhlhauser's to-do-list will be to decide whether the company, which makes farming machinery, commercial vehicles and construction equipment, would pursue any strategic moves that were flagged by his predecessor.

Tobin had said earlier this year he was open to considering spinning off some of the company's units once their balance sheets were sound.

During a post-results call with analysts last month, Neilson said the new CEO and the new chairwoman needed to be given time to acquaint themselves with the business before making any decisions, "but I don't think there's going to be a material delay of anything if we did consider this in the future".

He also said the management team was always looking at opportunities for how to grow "organically and inorganically".

Muhlhauser is no stranger to creating value through hiving off business. It was under his watch that Manitowoc Foodservice was separated from Manitowoc Company in 2016 and later renamed Welbilt.

Milan-listed shares in CNH Industrial were down 1.2 percent at 10.18 euros by 1153 GMT, compared with a 0.6 percent fall in Milan's blue-chip index. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak Editing by Keith Weir)

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