In a move to focus more on the professional line of products, Leica has created a new business unit. Headed by our longtime friend, Stephan Schulz, the Business Unit Professional will concentrate on the Leica S and SL System, products from medium and large format subsidiary Sinar, as well as work more closely with sister company CW Sonderoptic, that makes the Leica Cine lenses. I first met Schulz at the official launch for the S2 almost exactly eight years ago, held on the eve of Photokina 2008. Stephan has overseen the design and launch of pretty much all of Leica’s professional offerings: the S2, S006, S007 and most recently the SL601. So, it seems apt that he should head up the new professional business unit.
This week, I will be sitting down with Stephan to discuss his new role at Leica, what this business unit aims to achieve and Leica’s overall focus for pro-level products moving forward. As always, I look forward to our discussion. Stay tuned to Red Dot Forum for details of the interview. If there are any specific issues you’d like to see covered in the interview, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.
LEICA INTENSIFIES ITS FOCUS ON THE PROFESSIONAL SEGMENT WITH A NEW BUSINESS UNIT AND AN EXTENSIVE RANGE OF SERVICES
The Leica presence at Photokina 2016 in Cologne focuses primarily on professional photography and the corresponding needs of professional users. With this year’s stand concept, Leica Camera AG intensifies the emphasis on the newly implemented business unit Professional, the objective of which is to expand and bundle integrated product solutions and innovative usage scenarios for professional photography and video production.
With effect from 1 September, Stephan Schulz (55), who has been with Leica Camera AG since 2007, assumed the function of Global Director Business Unit Professional and is now responsible for the activities of this new segment. In his previous function as head of product management for Professional Camera Systems, he supervised the development and market launch of the innovative Leica S-System and the successful launch of the mirrorless Leica SL-Systems in October 2015. Stephan Schulz possesses extensive knowledge of the global camera market and many years of experience gathered in the marketing and sales divisions of international players in the electronics and imaging segment.
The Business Unit Professional bundles marketing and sales activities in the B2B sector. This applies to the Leica S medium format system, the mirrorless Leica SL-System and the entire product portfolio of the Leica Camera AG subsidiary Sinar Photography. Sinar Photography AG is the leading manufacturer of view cameras and offers complete digital solutions comprising cameras, lenses, digital backs and shutter systems to professional workflow software. In addition to this, the newly created business unit will also intensify the strategic collaboration with the Leica affiliate CW Sonderoptic, which manufactures superior quality cine lenses for film and TV production that are marketed under the Leica brand name and have already won numerous international awards.
In the words of Oliver Kaltner, CEO Leica Camera AG: ‘As an innovative provider of premium professional camera products and a future-oriented services portfolio, Leica Camera AG will be taking advantage of its newly created Business Unit Professional for further expansion in the strategically important B2B sector and the intensification of worldwide collaboration with professional photographers and users. I am very pleased that we have an experienced manager and imaging expert of the calibre of Stephan Schultz on board for the newly created business unit, a man whose dedication and commitment will be a powerful motor for the expansion of our business and our worldwide network of professional partners’.
The Leica Camera AG concept will be intensifying its already tight focus on innovative, professional product solutions by the addition of a range of new and extended services. These include the ongoing expansion of the Leica Professional Service portfolio by the addition of further exclusive services such as an even faster worldwide repair and replacement service, optimisation of the already implemented 24-hour service hotline and the successive expansion of the specialised service and repair team.
Financial services in the form of a range of attractive, made-to-measure financing and trade-in models will round off the spectrum of services offered and will make it easier for professional photographers and newcomers to the profession to take their first steps up to the high-quality and enduring value of Leica camera systems.
In addition to this, the multiple-award-winning S-Magazin will provide an international platform on which talented young photographers and established professionals can showcase their work. Every issue presents powerful photography, shows unusual facets of the art and surprisingly new perspectives. Acclaimed photographers like Bruce Gilden, Enrique Badulescu and Rankin, or Ellen von Unwerth in the latest issue, present their works made with the Leica S to an international audience of connoisseurs of what is best in the world of photography.