ZURICH, Switzerland — ABB made two announcements that coincided with its second-quarter financial earnings report yesterday. It appointed a new Chief Communications Officer as well as announced its intent to launch a share buyback program.
As of August 1, 2020, Theodor Swedjemark (40) will join the Executive Committee of ABB as the company’s Chief Communications Officer. Swedjemark has held the position on an interim basis since March 1, 2020.
Swedish-national Swedjemark has been at ABB since 2006. He joined the company as an executive management trainee before moving to the group M&A department at ABB’s headquarters in Zurich. In 2014, he took over a senior management role for Electrification products in the Czech Republic, covering the Central and Eastern European market. After returning to Zurich, Swedjemark managed the Strategic Portfolio Review of the Power Grids project during 2016, after which he assumed the role of Chief of Staff in 2017, later adding group responsibility for government relations & public affairs.
Under his remit, Swedjemark will be functionally responsible for: external and internal communications, brand management, ABB Formula E, government relations & public affairs, as well as sustainability & HSE. Swedjemark holds a master’s degree in business administration and economics from Linköping University in Sweden.
Björn Rosengren, CEO of ABB said: “We are delighted that Theodor has taken this all-important role that is now elevated to the level of Executive Committee, underlying the importance of professional and clear communication at a time of change for ABB. Theodor is a true ABB-insider, with a strong range of business, financial, leadership and diplomatic skills to support the company with the implementation of its strategy.”
As of August 1, 2020, the Executive Committee will comprise of: Björn Rosengren, Chief Executive Officer; Timo Ihamuotila, Chief Financial Officer; Tarak Mehta, President Electrification; Peter Terwiesch, President Industrial Automation; Morten Wierod, President Motion; Sami Atiya, President Robotics & Discrete Automation; Sylvia Hill, Chief Human Resources Officer; Maria Varsellona, General Counsel & Company Secretary; and Theodor Swedjemark, Chief Communications Officer.
Meanwhile, following the completion of the divestment of its Power Grids business to Hitachi on July 1, 2020, and consistent with its overall capital structure optimization program, ABB will launch its previously announced share buyback program on July 23, 2020.
As part of its plan to return to shareholders net cash proceeds of $7.6–7.8 billion from the sale of Power Grids ABB initially intends to buy 10 percent1 of its issued share capital through this share buyback program. ABB will purchase a maximum of 180 million shares, in addition to those already held in treasury. The corresponding maximum buyback amount of CHF 4.2 billion for this program is based on ABB’s share price on July 21, 2020. The maximum number of shares that may be repurchased under the program on any given trading day is 2,188,145.
The total number of ABB’s outstanding shares currently amounts to 2,134,574,661. ABB currently holds 33,573,603 own shares in treasury.
The share buyback program is for capital reduction purposes and will be executed on a second trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange (Valor: 35.767.961; ISIN: CH0357679619).
The program is planned to run from July 23, 2020 until the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 25, 2021. At the AGM, ABB intends to request shareholder approval to cancel the shares purchased through this program and to announce next steps.
The share buyback program will be lead-managed by a bank mandated by ABB that will make its trading decisions concerning the timing of share repurchases independently of ABB, within pre-agreed parameters. ABB can change these parameters outside of its closed periods and if no inside information exists within ABB, if necessary.
The purchase price per share will not exceed the last independent closing price on the ordinary trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange or the current best independent bid price on the ordinary trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange, provided this is below the last independent closing price. In addition, customary spread on purchases on the second trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange will be paid, observing the limitations of the Ordinance on Financial Market Infrastructures and Market Conduct in Securities and Derivatives Trading (FMIO). Payment for the shares will be made in cash.