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Companies Announce New Leadership

David D. Petratis has been promoted to president and chief executive officer of the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division (

The announcement came from Henri Lachmann, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, the Paris, France, electric power and automation company. Petratis succeeds Chris C. Richardson, who is retiring from the company after 33 years.

In December of 2002, Petratis was appointed president and chief operating officer of the company’s U.S. operations, coordinating business activities with country managers in Canada and Mexico, with responsibility for U.S. manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, purchasing, quality, engineering, sales and marketing.

Richardson, who will remain with the organization until May to ensure a smooth transition, said Petratis is the ideal candidate to lead the organization at this time.

“Dave Petratis made a memorable mark on our organization early in his career and we were very pleased that he rejoined us a little more than a year ago to lead our U.S. operations,” said Richardson. “He has tremendous insight into the critical power issues and other key areas of the electrical industry. He already has re-energized the U.S. organization by focusing on opportunities to expand our capacity to meet and exceed our customers’ service expectations and reinforce our growth and industry leadership in every market we serve.”

Cohesia (, the Cincinnati product lifecycle management company that provides specification and collaboration tools for complex product and component manufacturers, has appointed John F. Howaniec as the company’s chief executive officer. He comes to Cohesia from Plano, Texas-based EDS, where he served as president for EDS PLM Solutions. Greg Miller, interim CEO, will remain on the Board of Directors for Cohesia. This strategic move follows a national search for an experienced industry executive capable of leading and fueling Cohesia’s growth through increased sales and marketing.

Cohesia has grown from an early-stage, technology-focused company serving a handful of complex manufacturing organizations into an enterprise solution provider, with more than 100 companies using its technology.

“To fuel Cohesia’s growth while ensuring its customers’ and its own success, we needed to add an additional dimension of experience growing and marketing an enterprise software company focused on the complex product and component manufacturing markets,” said Tim Schigel, director for Blue Chip Venture Co., and a Cohesia board member. “John’s unique blend of skills, experience and proven ability to execute at various stages in a company’s lifecycle will help propel Cohesia’s future growth and success.”

Advantech COO

Muan Lim has been appointed chief operation officer (COO) for Advantech Corp. (, headquartered in Taiwan. Chief executive K.C. Liu states, “Under Muan’s leadership, we expect Advantech’s centralized business infrastructure to become world class in operational excellence, drive significant growth in the direct business and, together with his colleagues, bring Advantech to the next wave of significant growth.”

An Australian citizen, born in Malaysia, Muan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. He is also an Associate of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Before joining Advantech, Muan worked for Hewlett-Packard for 22 years. His last responsibility was Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan Operations, for Personal Systems Group. Prior to that, Muan was the Vice President and General Manager for HP’s Worldwide Technology Finance group responsible for directing the company’s worldwide business in providing finance offerings to customers. Divisions in the United States include Advantech Automation in Cincinnati.

Gary Mintchell

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