* Banerjee only joined ABB in mid 2012
* Follows Friday's news Hogan to stand down as CEO
* Claes Rytoft named acting CTO
(Rewrites first paragraph, adds detail and background, analyst
By Caroline Copley
ZURICH, May 13 Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd
has announced a second senior executive departure in
less than a week, saying its chief technology officer (CTO) was
quitting just three days after revealing its chief executive was
The world's biggest supplier of industrial motors and power
grids said Prith Banerjee, who joined ABB in 2012, would leave
for family reasons in the next few weeks after less than a year
in the post.
It said Banerjee would return to the United States where he
would take up a position outside the group and added that a
successor would be named in due course.
ABB said it was looking internally and externally for
candidates and named Claes Rytoft, head of technology at the
group's power division, as acting chief technology officer.
Banerjee's departure comes after Friday's surprise
announcement that Chief Executive Joe Hogan would be standing
down for unspecified private reasons. ABB also changed its chief
financial officer just three months ago.
"From a timing point of view, it's of course less than
perfect to see the CEO departing and one (working) day later
find out the CTO is going too," said Helvea analyst Stefan
Gachter. "But he has been at ABB for one year so not much
know-how is leaving the company."
A spokesman for ABB said the timing of the announcement was
pure coincidence and that Banerjee was leaving to be closer to
his family in the United States.
Banerjee had joined ABB from Hewlett Packard Co and
was formerly a professor of electrical engineering at the
University of Illinois.
As when it announced Hogan's exit, ABB did not say if
Banerjee would be getting a payoff.
The group in April warned it faced a tough second half of
the year and said it was stepping up cost-saving measures. Its
shares, which had risen in February to a 19-month high of 21.90
Swiss francs, were down 0.8 percent at 21.34 francs by 0941 GMT.
"Prith has brought new momentum to ABB's research and
development activity," said Hogan in a statement. "I regret
Prith's decision to leave the company. I'd like to thank him for
his contribution and wish him all the best for the future."
(Editing by David Holmes)