Honeywell names new fire leader

Gary Lederer will head a new umbrella organization, Honeywell Life Safety (HLS) Fire Solutions, Americas
 - 
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Honeywell announced this week that it has created a new umbrella organization, Honeywell Life Safety (HLS) Fire Solutions, Americas, under which Honeywell Fire Systems and System Sensor will work more closely together.

The company announced that Gary Lederer will be business leader of HLS Fire Solutions, Americas. Lederer, who has been with Honeywell for about 13 years, will oversee Honeywell Fire Systems and System Sensor, both part of the Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions’ Life Safety business. He will report to Honeywell Life Safety President and CEO Mark Levy.

Lederer told Security Systems News that System Sensor and Honeywell Fire Systems will continue to operate as distinct entities, as they already have been doing very successfully.

“Mark [Levy] boiled it down into a statement that’s pretty easy to remember: ‘We’re combining oversight, but we’re not combining operations.’ I think that describes it pretty well,” Lederer told SSN. “Our intent is to continue to serve our customers and provide them with the products that will help them succeed in the marketplace.”

Under Lederer, Todd Rief will be president of Honeywell Fire Systems, Americas and Tom Potosnak will continue to lead System Sensor, Americas, as he has done for the past four years. Potosnak’s title is general manager, Lederer said.

Rief replaces Allen Fritts, who is retiring as president for Honeywell Fire Systems, Americas. John Hakanson is retiring as president of Honeywell Sensing and Devices, under which System Sensor currently operates. Both men will assist in the transition through May.

Lederer said that his new position essentially combines their two jobs. “Basically, I’m taking those leadership roles into one leadership position so that’s where the umbrella happens,” he said.

He said, “My remit basically is to develop the strategic direction for the business and give … both Todd and Tom the flexibility and the motivation to continue to improve our business and continue to provide products that we can take into the marketplace.”

The reorganization will lead to some synergies that will help both companies operate more efficiently, he said.

For example, Lederer said, “I can see some efficiencies on having the engineering teams work more closely together, rather than the [System] Sensor guys developing something, flipping it over the wall and then having the panel guys bring it into the system. That adds a lot of time and some complexity to the system. By bringing these two teams closer together, I believe there’s quite a few synergies that would help us speed up the process and improve our time to market.”

According to the company, Lederer joined Honeywell in 2000 with the acquisition of Pittway Corp. He has held leadership positions at System Sensor and Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls and, most recently, led the Honeywell Life Systems Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Fire Systems business.

“Gary is an accomplished leader with many years of experience,” Levy said in a prepared statement. “Under Gary’s leadership, our seasoned management team, highly recognized brands and superior customer service will continue to position Honeywell as a strong industry leader.”

Rief joined Honeywell in 2007 and was most recently VP of operations for Honeywell Fire Systems, Americas, the company said. Potosnak joined System Sensor in 1998.

Honeywell Fire Systems’ brands include Notifier, Gamewell-FCI, Silent Knight and Fire-Lite. System Sensor is a manufacturer of fire detection and notification devices, specializing in smoke detection and notification technology.