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News

ATS Strengthens Executive Leadership

ATS Automation

 

CAMBRIDGE, ON, May 23 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced the appointments of two experienced senior executives to the newly-created roles of Vice President, Strategy and Human Resources, and Chief Information Officer, as well as the creation of a new Chief Operating Officer role.

Ron Jutras, ATS President and CEO said: ‘‘ATS has successfully implemented a new regional business model within our core Automation Systems Group over the past few months and we are now seeing early benefits from this work. Today's announcement demonstrates that our organizational improvements have now progressed from the regions to the corporate level. These improvements enable us to strengthen and realign our corporate level organization to provide additional leadership, management depth and improved support to our regional executive teams in Asia, Europe and North America. Today's management changes help to accomplish our objective of building our global strength by infusing our corporate team with new skills and capabilities in areas that are absolutely critical to our continued progress - including strategic employee skills development and information technology. I am delighted with the two individuals we have appointed. They will make strong contributions to our future.’‘

‘‘We also plan to further strengthen and add additional depth to our executive team in the near term through the creation of a Chief Operating Officer role. In April, I initiated a search to permanently fill this important new role, which will help to accelerate our improvement and global brand agenda. Filling this key role is a top priority for me.’‘

On an interim basis, Bruce Seeley, Vice President of Precision Components, has assumed the COO role.

Effective immediately, ATS has appointed Lynne Brenegan as Vice President, Strategy and Human Resources. Ms. Brenegan brings 15 years of consulting experience to executive teams in areas such as talent management, leadership development, and organizational redesign in a wide variety of sectors including high technology engineering. She joined ATS in 2006 to bring focus to organization design and strategic talent development. Previously, she served as Director of Leadership and Organizational Design for Barrick Gold Corporation's global operations.

Also effective immediately, Ron Keyser has been appointed Chief Information Officer. Mr. Keyser was most recently Vice President, Information Technology Operations for Magna Services, the shared services unit of automotive components manufacturer Magna International. During his more than 10 year career with Magna, he was involved in all aspects of the organization's ERP systems, and played a key role in program life cycle management and engineering collaboration of systems on a global basis. Prior to Magna, his experience with other automotive parts manufacturers included an assignment managing a manufacturing plant in Mexico. His mandate with ATS is to develop a global information technology infrastructure.

‘‘Lynne and Ron bring demonstrated leadership skills to ATS,’‘ said Mr. Jutras. ‘‘We welcome them. We also offer our sincere thanks to two long-time ATS managers who have announced their retirements: Marilyn Wolfe who has been with ATS since 1992, and last served as VP of HR and John Scott, who has been with ATS since 1995, and most recently served as Vice President, Quality and Strategic Processes.’‘

The Company also announced that Tom Beatty, who served as VP of Supply Chain management for the past 16 months, has left ATS. This corporate role is no longer required, reflecting the fact that supply chain management responsibilities and capabilities have now developed to the level where they have been regionalized for improved effectiveness.

ATS also announced that Jim Sheldon, President, ASG North America, left the Company effective May 23. An executive search for a new President ASG North America has already been initiated to replace Mr. Sheldon. In the interim Eric Kiisel, VP of Project Management has assumed the leadership role for the Cambridge ASG facility and will report to Bruce Seeley.

About ATS
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs of multinational customers in healthcare, computer/electronics, automotive and consumer products. Through its solar business, ATS participates in the growing solar energy industry. It also leverages its many years of repetitive manufacturing experience and skills to produce, in high volume, precision components and subassemblies and to answer the specialized repetitive equipment manufacturing requirements of customers. ATS employs approximately 3,500 people at 25 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Note to Readers
This press release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (‘‘forward-looking statements’‘). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS's business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the contributions to be made by the two appointments announced, further strengthening of the executive team through the creation of the COO role, and the benefits to be derived from that role. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others; general market performance; performance of the Canadian dollar; performance of the market sectors that ATS serves; unforeseen problems with the implementation of ATS's strategic improvement initiatives and/or the failure of such initiatives to achieve stated goals, and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators, including ATS's Management's Discussion and Analysis, Consolidated Financial Statements, Annual Report and Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.

For further information: Carl Galloway, Vice President and Treasurer, Gerry Beard, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (519) 653-6500

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