Eckhard Schäfer appointed new CEO of Photonics System Group
Eckhard Schäfer (53) has been working at PSG since March 2019. Previously, he was responsible for the group’s service business. In this role, he extensively expanded the portfolio and focused both the service products and the organisation on meeting the needs of the firm’s customers from around the globe. As VP Asia for the subsidiary InnoLas, he also further expanded the photovoltaic business.
PSG develops, produces, and distributes high-precision system and process solutions for customer-specific laser applications in the photovoltaic, electronics, and semiconductor industries. The group's main shareholder is CGS, an independent investment company based in Switzerland. CGS develops medium-sized industrial companies into international corporations. In December 2021, PSG announced the acquisition of Proaut Technology GmbH ("Proaut"). This Berlin-based company specializes in the analysis of manufacturing processes as well as in the development of technologies and automation solutions for the semiconductor industry.
Antonio Cives, chairman of the Advisory Board of PSG and Managing Partner at CGS, acknowledged the achievements of the outgoing CEO: “We regret that Markus won’t be able to continue his many years of successful work at PSG. He was one of InnoLas Solutions’ founding fathers and developed the company into an internationally connected group with around 150 employees today. He represents the consistent implementation of CGS’s Buy & Build strategy. We respect his personal decision and thank him for his outstanding work. We wish him all the best and above all good health.”
Markus Nicht said: “I would like to thank all PSG employees for their trust over the past years. I am proud of how quickly the team has completed the necessary technological development and the integration of several acquisitions. Even if this is a very difficult decision for me to take: I am convinced it is now the right time to hand over the Group. The course for the future has been set. I am pleased to transfer the responsibilities to Eckhard, who has an excellent understanding of our businesses. I wish the entire team the very best.”
Commenting on Eckhard Schäfer’s new role, Antonio Cives said: “Eckhard is the right choice for PSG’s upcoming corporate phase as we continue to be ambitious. He has proven in the past that he is capable of successfully developing new business areas worldwide and of expanding business with existing customers at the same time. He is highly regarded and respected within the company and by customers and understands both the technical and market-specific need of the customer. Moreover, he has a clear vision of where he wants to take the Group in terms of sales, technology, and, above all, operations.”
The future CEO Eckhard Schäfer on his new role: “Markus leaves a company in good shape. I am very excited to start my new role in a highly motivated and capable team. After all, we added another firm to the Group in December with the acquisition of Proaut. My goal is to diversify both technologically and in terms of market and customer orientation, while consistently exploiting existing synergies. We want to steer our strong growth into the right direction. The focus is on scalable applications in photovoltaics, electronics/conductor boards, and semiconductor technology end markets. In addition to expanding the operating business, the aim is also to further strengthen research activities and the development of new applications. And we will continue to expand geographically.”
Eckhard Schäfer has more than 25 years of experience in service, sales, and project organisation. He started his career in 1993 as one of the first employees Manz, today a world class high-tech engineering company, and was part of the extended executive board as head of the service business unit until his departure. In March 2019, he joined ILS as Vice President Sales Asia.
With the acquisition of Proaut, PSG expands its product range with further semiconduc-tor technology applications. Besides the key product group of precision measurement machines for electronic components on wafers and panels, Proaut’s product portfolio also includes microphone testers, pressure sensor testing, tape and reel systems (tapers), and laser markers.
Antonio Cives: “This acquisition offers great advantages for Proaut and the entire Group. A key factor is the complementary addition of the two companies' product and service portfolios. Existing customers will in future greatly benefit from additional products and an improved service offering. At the same time we can now offer Proaut products to a significantly larger customer base through PSG's global sales channels.”