German powerplant specialist MTU Aero Engines, poised for a stock market flotation in 2006, has appointed Udo Stark as its new chief executive, replacing Klaus Steffens who has decided to step down following differences of opinion over the company's strategy.

Stark, who currently chairs Frankfurt-based AGIV, takes over on 1 January. He was until 31 October chairman of Germany's MG Technologies.

While MTU is refusing to detail the reasons for Steffens' decision to step down, it states that he has requested to be relieved of his position at the end of the year "on account of the divergent views of the company's further development". He will join the supervisory board from 1 January. Steffens has headed MTU for nearly five years. The firm was acquired last year from DaimlerChrysler by US private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Source: Flight International