German industrial group ThyssenKrupp is moving one of its top managers to focus on a hotly contested $35 billion bid to build stealth submarines for Australia, it said on Thursday.
Hans Christoph Atzpodien, 60, will leave his post as head of the German group's Industrial Solutions division to concentrate on Marine Systems, one of the division's four units, which includes submarines, naval vessels and ships.
"The bidding for the Australia project in particular is a major opportunity for Marine Systems requiring
the full attention of its top management," the Essen-based steel-to-elevators group said in a statement.
ThyssenKrupp is competing with a Japanese consortium and French state-owned naval giant DCNS
for the contract. The Japanese group, which was the front-runner, is seen as having lost ground to the Europeans in past months.
Atzpodien will be replaced as chief executive of Industrial Solutions by Chief Operating Officer Jens Michael Wegmann.
He will remain on the management and supervisory boards of Industrial Solutions with special responsibility for Marine Systems, overseeing Marine Systems CEO Andreas Burmester.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Victoria Bryan)