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The Year 2016

My dear friends

To be honest - the year 2016 did not develop as expected. My original aim was to make it a little bit more quite year, as 2015 was a rather intense year. I knew that it could be tough, and somehow I had the feeling that it could become again a busy year, and a year which could also bring again some sort of changes. But I've never thought that it would end up in such a way as it did ...

In spring, I was twice approached by a head hunter, who were specifically looking for someone out of the GIS businees ( GIS = Gas Insulated Switchgear ), as they were looking for someone for competitors of ABB in Hungary and in Korea. Obviously, I declined despite the fact that going abroad would be something, I would be always interested in - in particular in a country, where I've not been working so far. Thus, that subject was off the table, I was focusing again fully on my job in ABB.

In this context, in April I had - finally - the opportunity to visit the ABB factory in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, which supplies modules as part of GIS systems. As part of that trip, I've spent a weekend in Sofia as well. History of the Thraker - very impressive - one of the earliest advanced civilications on the European continent.

In late April, I was then approched by my boss on whether I would be willing to take over a new role in an ABB company abroad, which had some difficulties - i.e. taking over a new turnaround. The case was basically OK, such that we were looking into it a bit closer, because it would have meant that Susanne and I would have to move abroad. As we started to like this idea, I was again approach internally, on wether I would be willing to take up another - even more difficult - job. Again we were looking into the case in more detail, because this move would become quite a challenge for Susanne as well.

Before tking a decision on the way forward, we spent two weeks of vacation, travelling through the former 'German Democratic Republic' ( i.e. Eastern Germany ).

After some more discussions, we decided in early July that I would accept to take over a new role in Saudi Arabia and consequnetly we would move to Bahrain as of September 1st for the next three years. During the week I would stay in Dammam, where I would manage the ramp-up of a newly build GIS factory, including the full Project Execution ( similar as I did before in Switzerland ), but now also including Sales, etc. as well as the entire High-Voltage Product business in Saudi Arabia. Thus, July became a realy heavy month - even for my standards - because  I had to close my current role in Switzerland and in parallel had to arrange the transfer to Saudi and Bahrain ( visa, insurances, partial move, ... ).

But before we moved to Bahrain & Saudi, we spent in early August an extended week in Krakow, where we met with some friends.