MUNICH—The global coronavirus outbreak has hit KraussMaffei Group GmbH. The company disclosed that its top executive had resigned and was leaving amid "further rationalization" to respond to the crisis and its economic aftermath.
Munich-based KraussMaffei said March 26 that Frank Stieler will resign as CEO of the big machinery maker at the end of March and that Michael Ruf, who was the chief operating officer, will take the CEO spot. The COO position will not be filled, according to a company release.
The next day, KraussMaffei said it was closing its plants in Munich and three other factories in Germany: in Treuchtlingen, which makes components; Hanover, which builds extruders; and Schwaig, the company's automation factory. It also will close a machinery plant in Sucany, Slovakia.
The temporary closings—for up to three weeks—were done to protect employees from the coronavirus, KM said. Company officials could not be immediately reached for further information.
KM said the Netstal operation in Naefels, Switzerland, will remain open.
In disclosing that Stieler was leaving, KraussMaffei said in a news release that the changes were coming because of COVID-19.
"Under the leadership of ... Ruf, the company will streamline its organization. This allows further rationalization to deal with the challenges from the current complicated and volatile economic situation and the impact from the (coronavirus) crisis."
Ruf, meanwhile, said the company was ready to face those challenges.
"We are ready to face such challenges," he said. "I enjoyed working with Frank Stieler, thereby creating the concepts for the changes together. I am grateful that he developed the company to this level."