ABB appoints Jean-Christophe Deslarzes as Head of Human Resources

Swiss citizen Deslarzes brings international HR leadership and business integration experience; he succeeds Gary Steel who will retire after 11 successful years with ABB

Zurich, Switzerland, Aug. 30, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has appointed Jean-Christophe Deslarzes to its Executive Committee as Head of Human Resources as of Nov. 15, 2013. He succeeds Gary Steel, 60, who will retire at a date that is still to be determined.

Deslarzes, a 49-year-old Swiss national, has served for the past three years as Chief Human Resources and Organization Officer and member of the Executive Board at the global retail group Carrefour. From 1994 to 2010, he worked at Rio Tinto Alcan and its predecessors Alcan Inc. and Alusuisse, in a variety of human resources and management roles in Europe and Canada.

He joined the Executive committee of Alcan in 2006 as Senior Vice President Human Resources and was named co-leader of the Rio Tinto Alcan integration in 2007, a successful large-scale business integration. In 2008, he was appointed President and CEO of Rio Tinto’s Downstream Aluminum Businesses, a US$14 billion operation that he led until its divestiture in 2010.

“Jean-Christophe Deslarzes brings extensive knowledge in human resources, as well as experience managing an industrial business and integrating a large acquisition,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, ABB’s CEO-designate. “His know-how will help ABB to take human resources to the next stage of excellence in the context of our global business strategy and to create value through our many integration efforts.”

Deslarzes holds a master’s degree in law from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and began his career in 1991 as a tax and legal consultant at Arthur Andersen in Geneva.

He succeeds Gary Steel, who has been Head of Human Resources and a member of the Executive Committee at ABB since January 2003. Steel established a performance-focused global human resources organization that puts a culture of accountability, people development and professional processes at its core.

“Gary played a key role in stabilizing and strengthening ABB after the crisis it went through a decade ago, and has made an important contribution to ABB’s profitable growth,” said ABB CEO Joe Hogan. “It’s been a real pleasure for all of us to work alongside him over the past years”

“I’ve had a long and exciting career at ABB, and am privileged to have worked with so many talented people through several important phases of the company’s history,” said Steel. “Now that we have made an orderly transition to a CEO appointed from within the organization, I feel that this is a good time for me to hand over to the next generation.”

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

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Tel: 41 43 317 6568
Fax: 41 43 317 7958 

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ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 110,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.