Jervis B. Webb Company
("Webb") of Farmington Hills, Mich., USA, - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daifuku Co., Ltd. of Japan -marks the end of an era with the retirement of Susan M. Webb, its President and co-CEO. Ms. Webb will continue to serve on Webb's Board of Directors. She will be succeeded as President and co-CEO by Ryuichi Kitaguchi, who will also continue as President of Daifuku America Corporation. Ms. Webb, the granddaughter of founder Jervis B. Webb, has led the Company since 2003, when she succeeded her uncle, George H. Webb. Ms. Webb guided the Company through an expansion of its airport baggage handling system and automated guided vehicle business lines, and the consolidation of its operating structure. In 2007, she also directed the team which brought about the sale of the Company by its founding family to Daifuku.
Masaki Hojo, Daifuku's President and Webb's Chairman and co-CEO, thanked Ms. Webb for her leadership of the Company. "The Webb family has an acknowledged place in the history of global industry. In the early years of the automobile, Susan's grandfather, Jervis B. Webb, helped revolutionize how cars were made. Susan's father and uncle, Jervis C. Webb and George H. Webb, continued the emphasis on product innovation and international expansion, including developing close business ties with Daifuku beginning in the 1950s," said Hojo. "Susan then guided the Company into the 21st century and its union with Daifuku. Together, the Companies will continue Webb's tradition by providing integrated systems that help the world-wide economy become ever more productive and efficient."