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View Full Version : CEO Oliver Kalter will leave Leica...


Kent
01-31-2017, 15:16
... this summer when his contract ends.

Source: Handelsblatt (German Economic Paper)

http://app.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/oliver-kaltner-hoert-auf-leica-chef-geht-im-fuehrungsstreit/19328366.html?mwl=ok_share%3Dfb

fireblade
01-31-2017, 15:48
"........I am pleased to have found such an outstanding successor to him in Oliver Kaltner – a man with outstanding strategic and business acumen and an exceptional instinct for innovation, whose enormous commitment and obvious passion for the brand has already led to considerable success in terms of growth, transformation and digitization only a very short time after joining the company." ..... Dr Kaufmann adds: "The Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG has expressed its complete confidence in Oliver Kaltner, and I personally wish him every success in the important task of leading a company as steeped in tradition as Leica into the future."

That mustn't have ended well.

Huss
01-31-2017, 15:52
He was busted selling a stash of M10s at a steep mark up on ebay.









(not really)

raid
01-31-2017, 17:12
This is a surprise indeed. The article that was posted by Kent suggests a level of jealousy from other administrators at Leica, with the accusation that he treated the "small business firm" like a large business firm. It may be about tradition versus high-tech profits.

Kent
02-01-2017, 01:13
We cannot say if it was "jealousy" or who is responsible, Raid.

It was the supervisory board, not the rest of the management that stated the incompatibility.

Leica does nurture a certain business and production philosophy. The human beings in the company and their well-being have always had a certain importance - a tradition that was started by Ernst Leitz himself. This is different to most "global players" and perhaps the reason why an international top manager does not entirely fit to this "provincial" company. ;)

Kent
02-01-2017, 02:25
Well, his name is Kaltner, with an "n" in the middle.

raid
02-01-2017, 05:04
Mr. Kaltner confirmed to me these news.
He may have shaken Leica up, and it could very well be that his ventures were too different from past Leica ventures. His past position at Leica has to do with Marketing and Finance, so his focus may have been 100% on creating huge profits for Leica while old timers may focus on traditional approaches.

raid
02-01-2017, 05:05
I think that seeing Kaltner as the rising superstar was not taken well by some at Leica. I feel it.

Raid

We cannot say if it was "jealousy" or who is responsible, Raid.

It was the supervisory board, not the rest of the management that stated the incompatibility.

Leica does nurture a certain business and production philosophy. The human beings in the company and their well-being have always had a certain importance - a tradition that was started by Ernst Leitz himself. This is different to most "global players" and perhaps the reason why an international top manager does not entirely fit to this "provincial" company. ;)

willie_901
02-01-2017, 05:15
"And the beat goes on..."

Sonny Bono

raid
02-01-2017, 06:25
Dr. Kaufmann should have known that a «Kaltner» doesn't fit. NOMEN EST OMEN.

(The «Kaltner» surname may have a completely different etymology, but it sounds like the adjective «kalt» = cold.)

Mr. Kaltner is a very nice person and I did not observe coldness from him when he met with the RFF group who visited Leica in Wetzlar last summer. Just the opposite. He is a very smart person, and he seems to have created a new vision for Leica, which may be too radically new for traditionalists at Leica.

Then again, we are all guessing here ...:angel:

robert blu
02-01-2017, 07:28
In the actual market it's and it will be more and more difficult to make profits without innovation...but very difficult to be innovative in an environment much related to tradition...
not easy to be the boss at Leica...
I agree with Raid from our meet with Mr. Kaltner he seems to be clever, friendly and more important with a vision for the future.
Just my thinking, anyway I will not apply for that position :)

robert

airfrogusmc
02-01-2017, 08:30
Robert in my opinion for Leica to remain relevant they need to keep M as a true alternative to what is out there. I think creating products like the M-D and the MM are two fine examples of creating true alternative choices. The new M10 seems to stay in that tradition.

raid
02-01-2017, 10:17
When someone lifts the barriers a lot, then gets negative views on these changes, this can lead to a "compromise" by which the barriers are lifted but not so much. It is in the end a good outcome. On the other hand, if the old school did not learn from the new innovative ideas of others, the old school Leica will fail commercially. RFF community cannot save it from itself in such a case.

user237428934
02-01-2017, 10:49
If you look at his vita then he changed position or job every 2-3 years. Some people are always on the move.

Kent
02-01-2017, 11:49
If you look at his vita then he changed position or job every 2-3 years. Some people are always on the move.

That's kind of typical for executives. People like him, who become CEO of a company such as Leica in their late 40s, need a vast collection of management experiences.

jarski
02-01-2017, 12:04
Leica has been on good track past 10 years. don't think it needs any shaking up and disturbances from their products p.o.v.

DPr recently reported (https://www.dpreview.com/news/0017250847/hasselblad-ceo-oosting-to-leave-next-week) that Hasselblad CEO is also changing. to me it sounded strange as he was first CEO that made series of good decisions. someone still remember those wood grip Sony's they engineered not that long ago?

airfrogusmc
02-01-2017, 14:11
I think what has and will keep Leica afloat will be not to become part of the herd. Leica creates some things now that no one else does. So if you want that you have to buy Leica. If you get down there in the herd you will just be another one of those so why buy Leica if that's what you become? Nice to have choices and as long as Leica M is a real choice then that is the one I will choose.

willie_901
02-02-2017, 06:47
Wow. Two years or so then out.

robert blu
02-02-2017, 07:58
Robert in my opinion for Leica to remain relevant they need to keep M as a true alternative to what is out there. I think creating products like the M-D and the MM are two fine examples of creating true alternative choices. The new M10 seems to stay in that tradition.

i agree, Leica is the M, only doubt I have if sales of the M models alone could be enough to pay the company costs...therefore the need to have something else on the side but this also must offer something that the other japanese brands cannot offer. Something different and good. I think the S, SL and T are going in that direction...
But Leica without the M would be not Leica !

robert

raid
02-02-2017, 08:30
Kaltner got Leica the deal with Huawei to create a smart phone with a great Leica camera built-in. Was it such a deal that was "too big"? I recall how I felt the first time I learned about such a joint venture. I did not like it. However, this may be what Leica needs in cash flow to Leica so that the M line can continue?

robert blu
02-02-2017, 08:51
Kaltner got Leica the deal with Huawei to create a smart phone with a great Leica camera built-in. Was it such a deal that was "too big"? I recall how I felt the first time I learned about such a joint venture. I did not like it. However, this may be what Leica needs in cash flow to Leica so that the M line can continue?

Raid, your view is exactly what I think!
Leica is M in the various alternative, film or digital, color or mono, ..., but to keep the company running, paying the R&D costs, overheads, etc. etc it is necessary a wider offer, probably more innovative.
Of course these are only free wheel thinking, we do not know exactly figures and other important things inside the company.
robert

raid
02-02-2017, 09:15
Free-wheeling Robert & Raid try to explain "the events"!

airfrogusmc
02-02-2017, 09:37
i agree, Leica is the M, only doubt I have if sales of the M models alone could be enough to pay the company costs...therefore the need to have something else on the side but this also must offer something that the other japanese brands cannot offer. Something different and good. I think the S, SL and T are going in that direction...
But Leica without the M would be not Leica !

robert

I doubt they could survive on just the M. For those set on Leica that want something else then they do have those also.

Out to Lunch
02-02-2017, 09:51
The Leica M10 will sell like sliced bread. Not a bad time for a CEO to make a move...

fireblade
02-02-2017, 12:41
Kaltner got Leica the deal with Huawei to create a smart phone with a great Leica camera built-in. Was it such a deal that was "too big"? I recall how I felt the first time I learned about such a joint venture. I did not like it. However, this may be what Leica needs in cash flow to Leica so that the M line can continue?

Kaltner was getting Leica into a strong financial position.
Leica have to decide if a "niche" market is what they want, and keep their business model accordingly.

Doug
02-02-2017, 13:56
Several posts removed as off-topic. Let's not have yet another Leica pricing thread here.

jaapv
02-02-2017, 15:43
Dr. Kaufmann has proven himself to be able to steer Leica. The downside is that CEOs tend not to last too long. At least it is better than a presidental rampage.

easyrider
02-02-2017, 19:59
The respected German economic newspaper Handelsblatt says:
"From inside the enterprise one heard on Tuesday that the board was not happy with Kaltner's management style. He managed the small camera company like a large enterprise. He did not succeed in 'taking his employees with him.'"

Link to the story which is in German:
http://app.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/oliver-kaltner-hoert-auf-leica-chef-geht-im-fuehrungsstreit/19328366.html?mwl=ok_share%3Dfb