RUAG MRO Holding AG Chief Executive Brigitte Beck agreed to exit the state-owned arms maker less than a year after taking the post after making contentious remarks on Switzerland’s neutrality.
(Bloomberg) — RUAG MRO Holding AG Chief Executive Brigitte Beck agreed to exit the state-owned arms maker less than a year after taking the post after making contentious remarks on Switzerland’s neutrality.
Her decision was made “against the backdrop of two public appearances of the CEO in spring of 2023 and the controversy ensuing from them,” according to a statement on Monday. While an internal investigation cleared Beck of any criminal wrongdoing, she and RUAG’s board agreed that the situation could only be resolved by a change in leadership, the company said.
“My decision should enable RUAG to put the focus back on what is really important, namely the business,” Beck, who became CEO in September 2022, said in the statement.
Speaking on a public panel in May, Beck had said that countries like Spain and Germany should go ahead and send Swiss-made arms to Ukraine as Switzerland wouldn’t do much about it, according to reports in local media.
If those countries would have followed up on her advice, they would have broken Swiss neutrality law. Beck later apologized for her remarks.
Re-exports of Swiss weapons since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are a contentious topic in Swiss politics, and have created a frictions between Switzerland and other European countries.
Until a new CEO is found, RUAG MRO will be jointly led by Chief Financial Officer Christian Priller and Thomas Kipfer, who heads the airplanes business.
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