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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Shake-up at Terex as COO Leaves

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Westport-based Terex Corp., one of the world’s largest heavy construction manufacturers, said today its chief operating officer and the head of its cranes business have resigned.

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In the shake-up, Terex COO Thomas Riordan, second-in-command behind Chairman and Chief Executive Ron DeFeo, will leave Jan. 31 to become chief executive of casting company Neenah Enterprises Inc. effective Feb. 1. Riordan’s duties, which also include president of Terex, will be taken over by DeFeo.

Terex said Richard Nichols, formerly president of the company’s cranes business, will be leaving the company in February. He had been cranes president since 2008. He will be succeeded by Kevin Bradley, who has been president of Terex’s financial services business.

Bradley will be replaced by Ramon Oliu, who has held a variety of positions in the financial services unit since joining Terex in 2007.

Terex also said it will create a senior vice president for Terex’s business system. The position will be responsible for improving Terex’s internal operations and customer service.

Dow Jones News Service said like other construction machinery makers, Terex was hard hit by the economic recession and the collapse in residential and commercial construction activity in 2009. But it said Terex’s rebound has been slower and seemingly more difficult than its peers.

One analyst said the company’s plan not to fill Riordan’s post could signal it is pulling back from its strategy of growth through acquisition.

“It is a little worrisome, in our view, that the COO has departed and is not being replaced, given that the company’s stated goal is to grow through acquisition,” J.P. Morgan analyst Ann Duignan wrote in a note to clients.

“Investors should be concerned that this move signals that there could be a lack of acquisitions in the pipeline.”

A Terex representative cautioned against speculation that the lack of a COO will affect the company’s acquisition activities, according to Dow Jones.

“It’s more complicated than that,” said spokesman Mike Bazinet.

Posted 01/06/11 at 01:22 AM

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