While I was in Orlando at the ARC Forum, I had an opportunity to meet with Schneider Electric EVP Clemens Blum (whose portfolio includes process automation now) and Invensys leader Mike Caliel. It was just a general conversation. No news. But perhaps that’s the good thing. The organizational structure is coming along. I have heard of only a few people so far who have lost jobs because of the acquisition. Mr. Blum had an obviously well thought out strategy for integrating process control into the company.
I am by nature either optimistic or engaging in wishful thinking, but I think in the end this was the best result short of Invensys Process trying to go it alone. In that latter case, I’m not positive it could have raised enough capital to fund growth.
Still thinking of European companies, Siemens Industry has really undergone a transformation–in terms of visibility at any rate. Helmuth Ludwig, CEO of Siemens Industry, his boss Eric Spiegel, and Raj Batra, president of Siemens Industry Automation have really been making the rounds promoting American manufacturing. They were just in Cincinnati along with The Atlantic magazine for a session. Now I see there is a big event in Detroit in a couple of weeks that promises a lot of seminars plus some thought leader speakers. This is very interesting. For many years, Siemens was a very quiet control and automation company in the US. This new leadership is really stirring things up.
In addition, I’ve seen releases from ABB (a Swiss company) promoting American manufacturing.
Much of this is coordinated with initiatives by the Obama administration to promote manufacturing. While Americans seem reluctant to embrace anything touching Obama, Europeans are gladly touting the American manufacturing renaissance.
We certainly live in interesting times.