Oliver Kaltner Leica Boss Bowing out

Oliver Kaltner, the chief executive of Leica Camera whose management style has been called into question, will not seek to extend his contract with the optics company when it ends in August.
Mr. Kaltner struggled to adjust from big corporations like Sony and Microsoft to a small manufacturing company like Leica. Picture source: Bloomberg.

Leica Camera, the German manufacturer of the iconic cameras, is going to have to find a new boss. Its chief executive, Oliver Kaltner, has decided to leave the company at the end of his contract on August 31, a spokesperson told the German news agency DPA on Tuesday.

Mr. Kaltner said his decision was based on “other plans that I would like to pursue,” adding that he will stay “fully committed” to his role as chief executive until the end of August. But it also seems the optics company wasn't exactly happy with his performance.

A former senior executive at Microsoft Germany, Mr. Kaltner switched to head of marketing at Leica in September 2014 and was promoted to CEO in April the following year.

Leica Camera, a company established in 1914 and headquartered in Wetzlar, a town north of Frankfurt, in a statement said the supervisory board had been dissatisfied with Mr. Kaltner’s leadership style, accusing him of running the small camera manufacturer like a large corporation.

He has not succeeded in “taking the employees with him,” the firm with 1,600 employees and €365 million ($394 million) in revenue said.

Leica intends to comment on Mr. Kaltner’s succession at a later date. If it fails to find a replacement quickly, supervisory board Chairman Andreas Kaufmann may act as interim CEO, according to DPA.