CEO Hogan Bullish on ABB Outlook

ABB Leadership Expresses Optimism at Opening of ABB Automation & Power World 2013

By Jim Montague

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ABB Automation & Power World 2013

Commitment, investment and integrity beat uncertainty every time.

To fight all the economic, political and technical turmoil battering people, companies, governments and regions worldwide, ABB Group and ABB North America's leaders stressed their unwavering commitment to serving their customers and increasing organic growth, continuing aggressive investment in R&D and disciplined acquisitions, and maintaining the personal integrity to keep these promises in today's keynote address to the more than 4,800 attendees gathered in Orlando, Fla., for ABB Automation & Power World 2013.

"This is the fifth time I've addressed Automation & Power World, and I come back to the United States now with more optimism than ever before," said ABB Group CEO Joe Hogan. "We're investing more and doing it more aggressively because we're a power and automation company, and we know there are huge synergies to be gained by combining them, and that automation is at the nexus of a lot of these technologies coming together. Many jobs are coming back to the U.S., but they aren't the same as the ones that left. These new jobs will be much more automated. This is an exciting time of rebirth in the U.S."

Earlier in their joint presentation, ABB North America president, CEO and region manager Enrique Santacana laid out some of the daunting challenges and persistent headwinds that the industry is facing. "China is experiencing slower growth, Europe is still in recession with high unemployment and debt burdens, and the Middle East is still highly unstable with events that could skyrocket oil prices and cause economic problems worldwide," says Santacana. "And, even though the potential U.S. government shutdown has been put off until September, we're still in the middle of the sequester crisis, debating the debt ceiling and dealing with poor monetary policies. In addition, we've got regulation overload and persistent high unemployment. And, if the U.S. Federal Reserve takes out the market's liquidity, what's going to happen to the bond markets, interest rates, our economy and all of our businesses?"

On the other hand, Santacana added there are some tailwinds helping to propel ABB towards reaching its goals and fulfilling its mission. "The U.S. housing market is getting stronger, and there is strong investment in many industries such as mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, and the common thread is they're all investing in increasing productivity by employing energy efficiency and automation," explains Santacana. "Of course, the brightest star in the U.S. economy right now is energy, especially shale oil and gas plays, upcoming grid modernization and development of renewable energy sources. Data center technologies and the digital age are also upon us, including exploding numbers of apps and cloud-based computing services, and these are transforming all of our lives."

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