CEO Hansen to retire

LAWRENCEVILLE - Alfred Hansen, who preferred being on the production floor to working in his corner office, said he plans to step down from the helm of EMS Technologies.

Hansen, the 72-year-old CEO of the Norcross wireless and satellite communications company, made the official announcement Tuesday.

Paul Domorski is slated to take over the top spot June 2. The 49-year-old Domorski has been vice president of Avaya Inc. since 2003, overseeing its $1.6 billion services business.

John Mowell, EMS chairman of the board, credited Hansen with improving many aspects of the company, including manufacturing, engineering, management and staffing.

"The Board is very pleased to have been able to bring Paul Domorski on as the new CEO," Mowell said. "Having worked with Al Hansen over the past 61⁄2 years, it was the primary objective of the Board to find a successor with the experience, intelligence, leadership, vision and energy to also be successful in the CEO role, and to accomplish the growth in revenues and earnings that we believe the company has the capacity to achieve."

Hansen has agreed to support a smooth transition to new leadership and advise Domorski along the way.

"It has been enormously satisfying to me to work with the Board and with such an exceptional group of employees worldwide during the last 51⁄2 years while serving as CEO," Hansen said.

"Together I feel we have accomplished much, preparing the way for the new CEO to build on the achievements of recent years and to take the company to the next level of sustained growth."

EMS stock gained 88 cents, or about 5 percent, at the close of trading Wednesday. The company's stock has traded between $13.30 and $20.92 over the past year.

If Hansen was a baseball manager, he would have been a player's coach.

The former Air Force general was humble enough to ask employees to review his performance. He was also known to talk business philosophy with his workers over breakfast.

In an interview with the Gwinnett Daily Post in 2002, Hansen said "I've always felt a leader should be visible and under the same demands he is asking of the people. If the CEO can't stand up and teach quality management, who can?"