updated 04:20 pm EST, Fri February 22, 2008
Leica ousts CEO Steven Lee
Famous camera and lens maker Leica has officially jettisoned its CEO, according to company officials. The removal of Steven K. Lee is described as a sudden move, authorized by the company's supervisory board. He will be temporarily succeeded by owner and chairman Andreas Kaufman, who will work in tandem with the board's treasurer and financial controller until February 28th. Lee's tenure only began in November of 2006.
The reasons for Lee's departure are unclear, but they appear to be connected to an interview Lee gave at the recent PMA expo, in which he hinted that the company's M8 rangefinder would be upgraded with a full-frame sensor sometime after next September's Photokina expo. "This change of management allows Leica Camera AG to immediately review strategies and make changes where required," says David Bell of Leica UK. "One of the first tasks for Dr. Kaufmann will be to positively review all options for the M system's future."
Full-frame sensors have become increasingly popular with camera makers and photographers, as they allow for greater sensitivity with less noise, and do not affect the intended focal lengths of lenses. They are however more expensive, and are generally found in pro-level cameras such as Nikon's D3 or Canon's EOS-5D. [via Amateur Photographer]