Avantha picks Alstom's Laurent Demortier as new Crompton Greaves MD

Crompton Greaves (CG), a leading engineering company, and part of the $4 billion Avantha group, headed by Gautam Thapar, has appointed Laurent Demortier as the new managing director. He succeeds Sudhir Mohan Trehan, who is retiring.

Demortier, who was president of power automation and control business unit of Alstom Power, will take over from 1 June. Before joining Alstom, Demortier worked with Honeywell Corp and Safran.

Trehan, who joined CG in 1972 and was appointed managing director in 2000, will be the non-executive vice-chairman of the company. ''The announcement is the culmination of a succession planning process which the board initiated in 2010,'' said Thapar, announcing the appointment of Demortier. Referring to the outgoing MD, Thapar said it was ''a testament to his leadership that we are so well-placed in terms of succession and depth of senior management strength.''

According him, the CG board was unanimous in its choice of Demortier. ''He has the necessary drive, strategic thinking and operational experience to continue to build on the platform Mr Trehan has created,'' added Thapar.

Outgoing MD Trehan had earlier said that over the next five years CG, with a turnover of $8 billion, would be among the world's top-four companies in the power transmission and distribution segment and top-10 in the industrial segment. It now ranks seventh in power transmission and distribution and among the top-20 in industrial.

Earlier this week, CG reported an 18 per cent decline in its consolidated net profit to Rs.251.43 crore for the fourth quarter of the fiscal (January-March 2011). Net sales, however, rose to Rs.2,908.03 crore from Rs.2,507.89 crore in Q4 of the previous fiscal.