Lutz Bertling, who left his position as Eurocopter chief executive yesterday, has chosen the right time to exit the business, he believes.
Although he declines to give specific reasons for his decision to quit the Marseille-headquartered helicopter manufacturer, save to say that personal reasons drew him back to Germany, he is sure of his decision.
And, one issue is that chief executives can grow stale if they remain at a company for too long. It is “not good for a company for its chief executive to stay for 15 years or so”, he says.
“Chief executives do not stay forever. The level of innovation you can bring to a company becomes limited past a certain point and you end up destroying the walls you have built,” he adds.
He is joining the rail division of Bombardier which was “one of the few companies I saw in Germany as a potential target for me” given its small production runs and high degree of specialisation.
“I could not imagine working for a company in automotive or making washing machines,” he adds.