New CEO At Laser Maker Rofin

PLYMOUTH — Gunther Braun is out and Thomas Merk is in as president and CEO of Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: RSTI), a developer and manufacturer of lasers for commercial and industrial applciations with dual headquarters in Plymouth and Hamburg, Germany.

Merk is currently COO of the Rofin Laser Micro and Marking Group, and will assume the post of president and CEO of the company July 1. At that point, Braun will resign both his executive positions and his seat on the company’s board, which Merk will also assume.

The company said Braun would remain with Rofin-Sinar for an unspecified period “to assist with the transition of duties.”

Said Rofin-Sinar board chair Peter Wirth: “We are very grateful to Gunther for his contributions throughout his 26-year career with the company. During his tenure, he made a considerable contribution towards strengthening Rofin’s strategic position and has led the company through many phases of technological innovation, most recently the successful introduction of our third generation of high-power fiber lasers. We are now entering a new phase of the Company’s development and we will continue to focus on innovation while taking a firm, bottom-line approach that will accelerate our competitive advantage and build value in this market. We have chosen Thomas to be our new CEO because of his contributions and demonstrated leadership. He has deep experience in the laser industry, business vision and financial acumen.”

Added Merk: “As the company with one of the greatest customer reaches in the industry and a strong product portfolio that includes some of the most advanced fiber-laser technology as well as a wide ultra-short-pulse laser portfolio in the market, there is significant opportunity ahead to drive growth and further margin improvement. I am looking forward to building on Gunther Braun’s leadership, solidifying our strong market position and continuing to create long-term shareholder value.”

And Braun said in a statement: “It was a great pleasure to manage the fortunes of Rofin for such a long time and I wish Thomas all success in the leadership of Rofin.”

Merk has been COO of the Laser Micro Group since 2005 and added the Laser Marking Business unit in 2006. He started his career in 1989 at Boehringer Werkzeugmaschinen Vertriebs GmbH in Germany, and remained there until 2000, most recently serving as sales director. Merk holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Braun has been CEO and president since 2005 and a member of the company’s board since the company’s initial public offering in 1996. He previously served as executive vice president of finance and administration, CFO and treasurer from 1996 to 2005. He joined Rofin-Sinar in 1989.

Rofin-Sinar currently has more than 52,000 laser units installed worldwide and serves more than 4,000 customers. More at

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