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ATS appoints Ron Jutras President and Chief Executive Officer; Gerry Beard Chief Financial Officer

Februar 08, 2005 | General
TSX: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of ATS today appointed Ron Jutras as President and Chief Executive Officer following the tragic passing of its founder Klaus Woerner from cancer yesterday.

Mr. Jutras joined ATS in 1985 as Chief Financial Officer and was most recently Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. He is also a Director of the Company and member of the executive management committee.

In making the announcement, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board Lawrence G. Tapp said: "Ron is an ATS veteran who is well known by shareholders, employees, customers and the Board alike as a skilled and dedicated leader with strong operational and financial knowledge. In this way, his appointment is both logical and appropriate. But more than this, Klaus identified Ron as his natural successor many years ago and the two worked side-by-side for almost 20 years. I believe that under Ron's guidance, ATS will continue to expand its industry-leading competitive advantages and drive results for our customers and shareholders in the years to come."

Said Mr. Jutras: "Speaking on behalf of all of us at ATS, it's been both an honour and a privilege working with Klaus. As a result of Klaus's efforts we have a very strong, committed management team at ATS and all of us are focused on continuing what Klaus so successfully started and skillfully nurtured over these many years. This is a sad time for all of us at ATS and our thoughts and prayers are with Klaus's family."

Mr. Jutras added that "ATS and I will continue to benefit from the skilled leadership of our executive committee, which Klaus established in recognition of the growth and increased scope of our business."

The executive committee was formalized in 2002 to lead the operational direction of the Company. It is comprised of Mike Cybulski, Vice President of Automation Systems Operations, Canada and Eastern USA, Jim Sheldon, Vice President of Automation Systems Operations, Western USA, Marilyn Wolfe, Vice President of Human Resources, Uwe Geissinger, Director of Automation Systems Operations Europe, Bruce Seeley, Vice President Precision Components Group and Mr. Jutras.

New CFO Appointed
Mr. Jutras today appointed Gerry Beard, CA as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ATS. Mr. Beard joined ATS in 2001 and most recently served as the Company's Director of Corporate Finance. He is an honours graduate of the University of Waterloo, obtained his CPA designation in 2001, his Chartered Business Valuator designation in 1999 and his CA designation in 1996. Prior to joining ATS, Mr. Beard was a senior manager at KPMG working with public companies in Canada and the US.
"Gerry has worked very closely with our executive team in establishing our financial and operating plans over the past four years, he knows ATS extremely well and will be a value asset to the Company for many years to come," said Mr. Jutras. "I personally thank Gerry and our entire finance department for playing an increasingly large role after I assumed the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer last spring."

Corporate Description
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (www.atsautomation.com) is the industry's leading designer and producer of turn-key automated manufacturing and test systems, which are used primarily by multinational corporations operating in a variety of industries including: automotive, computer/electronics, healthcare, and consumer products. The Company also makes precision components and subassemblies using its own custom-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. ATS is also an emerging leader in the rapidly growing market for solar energy cells and modules. ATS employs approximately 4,000 people at 26 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company's shares are traded on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Certain forward looking statements are made in this news release, including statements regarding growth prospects for the business and the impact of changes in management. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ATS's products, technologies, customer requirements and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's periodic reports filed with Canadian regulatory authorities.

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For further information:
Carl Galloway, Corporate Treasurer,
(519) 653-6500