ABB appoints new head of UK Discrete Automation and Motion division

2014-09-22 202716 abb Neil RitchieNeil Ritchie has been appointed head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division in the UK, following the retirement of Chris Withey.

The division encompasses ABB’s motors, generators, variable-speed drives, motion control, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), power electronics and robotics businesses. The leading position in wind generators and a growing offering in solar complement the industrial focus, leveraging joint technology, channels and operations platforms.

“I am looking forward to this new challenge,” says Neil. “ABB’s portfolio in Discrete Automation and Motion is more complementary than ever and offers our customers a great deal of choice and some real innovation to drive their businesses forward.

“For example, our solar inverter products and services are the most comprehensive in the market. We have an excellent track record of energy efficiency and productivity improvements using variable-speed drives and motors and our discrete automation solutions, not only through robotics but also PLCs and motion control, are stronger than ever before. We are working on the new strategy to 2020 and I’m sure there will be even more exciting activities from us in the future.”

Neil was previously running the Drives and Controls business, a post he took over in 2011. Prior to that Neil was managing ABB’s service activities for drives and motors, a post he held since joining ABB in 1989.

Neil has worked for ABB for the last 25 years, starting in automation service, technical support. He holds an MBA from The Open University.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.