Exide Technologies appoints Bolch president, CEO

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The board of directors of Exide Technologies, a global provider of stored electrical-energy solutions, announced that James R. Bolch has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Milton, Ga.-based company effective July 26, also joining the Exide board at that time. Bolch will succeed Gordon A. Ulsh, Exide’s current CEO, who will retire and step down from the board on July 26. Ulsh, 64, who has served Exide in this leadership capacity since April 2005, previously had informed the board of his intention to retire as part of the company’s long-term succession planning process.

Bolch, 52, currently serves as senior vice president and president of industrial technologies sector at Ingersoll Rand Co. “The board of directors conducted a comprehensive review of a strong field of candidates and has the utmost confidence in Jim Bolch,” says John P. Reilly, chairman. “He is the ideal leader for Exide, combining deep operational acumen with a proven track record of driving innovation and strategic growth. His broad expertise and insights will be instrumental in strengthening Exide’s position as an integrated global supplier of environmentally sound energy storage products and solutions for traditional and alternative energy markets – building on the successful model that Gordon Ulsh and his team have executed during the past five years.”

Bolch brings to Exide a career spanning 29 years in global industrial businesses serving a variety of customer segments. Since 2005, he has led the $2.2 billion industrial technologies sector of Ingersoll Rand, with multiple business lines and 25 global manufacturing sites, serving every part of the world through 10,000 employees. He joined Ingersoll Rand in 2005 from Schindler Elevator Corp., where as executive vice president of the service business, he led the North American services functions, including sales, marketing and service delivery.

Prior to his tenure at Schindler, Bolch spent 21 years with United Technologies Corp., starting in engineering with United Technologies Optical Systems as business area manager, later moving to Otis Elevator Co. Between 1991 and 1999, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Otis in operations, services and product administration. He progressed to vice president, Otis Global Service, a $3 billion business that serviced more than one million elevators globally. In his last role at UTC, he served as vice president of operations for the UTC Power Division, where he created and implemented business strategies to commercialize fuel cell production for distributed generation and transportation markets.