Dover Jumps After Naming Longtime Marchionne Lieutenant as CEO

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(Bloomberg) -- Dover Corp., a manufacturer under scrutiny from activist investor Dan Loeb, rallied as it named Richard Tobin chief executive officer.

Tobin will replace longtime CEO Robert Livingston, 64, on May 1, Dover said Tuesday in a statement. Tobin, a former lieutenant of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marchionne, unexpectedly resigned Monday from CNH Industrial NV, a European maker of trucks and tractors.

Tobin, 54, is taking the helm amid a portfolio transition at Dover, which makes energy and refrigeration equipment. The Downers Grove, Illinois-based company is spinning off its billion-dollar Wellsite business, now known as Apergy, which makes drill bits and other oilfield equipment. Loeb’s Third Point disclosed a stake in Dover in October.

Dover climbed 4.5 percent to $104.37 at 12:17 p.m. in New York after advancing as much as 4.8 percent for the biggest intraday gain in five months. Bloomberg News reported the pending CEO change earlier Tuesday.

A representative for Third Point declined to comment. Tobin, who already sits on Dover’s board, owns a $220,000 stake in the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Livingston Tenure

Livingston is retiring after reshaping Dover during a 35-year career at the company, including more than nine as CEO. In 2014, Dover spun off its Knowles consumer-electronics to sharpen its focus on industrial units. It’s also completed a series of acquisitions in the fueling-equipment market. The Apergy transaction, announced in December, is set to be completed in May.

Since Livingston took the top post, Dover quadrupled, outpacing the threefold gain in the S&P 500 Index.

CNH, which is controlled by Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family, is preparing for a transformational deal, Tobin told Bloomberg in a rare sit-down interview in January. The company is seeking to strengthen its balance sheet this year before considering whether to separate its Iveco truck business from the company’s more profitable tractor division, he said at the time.

Tobin was one of Marchionne’s longest-serving aides. The two have worked together since the 1990s and Tobin’s exit comes ahead of Marchionne’s plan to retire from the carmaker at the end of this year. Marchionne will keep his position as CNH chairman.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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