After a major internal shake-up, Linde Hydraulics has strengthened its position in the development and global supply of high-pressure hydraulic component and system solutions. With its major shareholder Weichai Power, Linde Hydraulics has now also set its focus on the US and Chinese markets. The CEO Magazine talks to Jörg Ulrich about the ongoing success post the business turnaround.
The CEO Magazine: When you first came into the role as CEO, what opportunities did you see for yourself and for growing the business?
Jörg: The company needed to change, and it was clear to me quite quickly that such a major restructuring process would need the close involvement of managers across all hierarchy levels. Internally, we therefore changed the organisational set-up and our governance structure. The entire restructuring and long-term growth plan was the result of many top managers being involved and contributing. Clearly in that context I saw myself in the overall lead, as well as in the role to coordinate between the different stakeholder groups to find the best outcome for the company.
Externally, it became clear that more customer orientation, quicker reaction times to customer requests, and more presence with our customers were necessary. So together with my colleagues on the board, we worked on new structures, processes, and talents, as well as incentive schemes.
What were your key areas of focus, and what strategies did you roll out?
We started with the sales footprint: how to ensure that as a mid-sized company we could find sufficient response in the market, either through direct or indirect sales. One key element of roll-out was to open up and broaden the sales network and get rid of exclusivity agreements where we believed they would limit us in market coverage and further growth.