PIA Group revamps management team

Published on Oct 22, 2021


PIA Group revamps management team

Thomas Ernst and Shilai Xie become Co-CEOs of PIA Automation Holding – Johannes Linden steps down from the CEO position

PIA Automation Holding GmbH, Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale, is revamping its management team in view of the business’s increasing internationalization and further integration with its headquarter in Ningbo/China. From October 22,2021, the incumbent management members Thomas Ernst (47) and Shilai Xie (46) will assume the top leadership role of the automation specialist as Co-CEOs. The previous chairman of the management board, Johannes Linden (52), is stepping down from the CEO position. Georg Weiler (61) will remain on the management board of PIA Automation Holding as CFO as well as his counterpart Albert Jiang (39) who remains as CFO in the China-based Ningbo PIA Automation Holding Corporation.

The chairman of the supervisory board of PIA Automation Holding, Dr. Michael Roesnick, said that “We would like to thank our previous CEO, Johannes Linden, for his commitment over the past four years and, in particular, the accelerated internationalization of all our business activities. We see that the time has now come to take account of the changed framework conditions and our continued international growth path by initiating a new line-up of our management team.”

In recent years the company had a special focus on growth and the internationalization of its business. PIA now enters a new strategic phase. PIA Group will have a stronger emphasis on its engineering excellence, customer orientation and profitability to ensure sustainable success for the company.

“We are therefore setting new regional, strategic and technological impulses with our two Co-CEOs Thomas Ernst and Shilai Xie. That also guarantees a high degree of continuity because in selecting Mr. Ernst and Mr. Xie, we consciously decided for an internal succession plan. Moreover, both Thomas Ernst and Shilai Xie, share the same approach of positioning our  company as ONE PIA Group, a global partner of international companies delivering advanced manufacturing solutions and top-quality services”, explains Dr. Michael Roesnick, chairman of the supervisory board of PIA.

Thomas Ernst previously headed the CTO department at the PIA Group and is now Co-CEO Technology, Sales and the region Europe. Since 2010, Ernst has been a manager in the PIA Group, first at IMA Automation Amberg, which was taken over in 2014, and since then at PIA Group.

Shilai Xie has been on PIA Group Management Team as Managing Director – PIA Automation Holding where he played a pivotal role in post-merger-integration of PIA group. He has also led a strong growth in Chinese market. As Co-CEO, he is now taking over the responsibility for Strategy & the regions Asia and North America. The American engineer with Chinese roots has been a member of the PIA management team since 2019. Before that, he held various management positions, including at Bosch Group, Zehnder Group, and ECR International in China and US.