Famed small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch, or H&K, fired its CEO Norbert Scheuch and removed him from the company’s executive board. Heckler & Koch is at a crucial turning point for the company and the change of leadership could dramatically affect its outcomes.
“The supervisory board of H&K AG, the parent company of the Heckler & Koch Group … has revoked the appointment of Mr. Norbert Scheuch as Chairman of the Executive Board and as Chief Executive Officer of H&K AG with immediate effect,” said the company in an official statement. “The appointment of Mr. Norbert Scheuch as executive director of Heckler & Koch GmbH was also revoked with immediate effect.”
“Until the appointment of a successor in the near future, Mr. Wolfgang Hesse, the sole executive board member of H&K AG and the sole executive director of Heckler & Koch GmbH, will take over Mr. Scheuch’s duties, in close cooperation with the supervisory board.”
From an American consumer standpoint, things are going great for Heckler & Koch. The company introduced several compelling and competitive new products of late that work well with the rest of the H&K catalog.
H&K’s introduction of the VP family of pistols has been their biggest recent success. The VP family of service pistols for duty, everyday carry and concealed-carry saw immediate success in commercial and agency sales.
H&K is also working on an American manufacturing facility to expand their sales in the U.S. Making guns in the states helps avoid issues with firearm importation laws. It also makes the guns more appealing to American buyers, including military and police users.
When it comes to military contracts Heckler & Koch’s sales have been mixed. The company has a solid performer in high demand with the U.S. Marine Corps, the M27 IAR. However, H&K, partnering with Orbital ATK, failed to deliver experimental weapon components to the Army in time to secure a major contract.
Heckler & Koch and ATK were working on an exciting — but questionably effective — new weapon system for the Army, the XM25. Nicknamed the “Punisher,” the XM25 was a portable magazine-fed grenade launcher. The launcher used a laser rangefinder to exactly determine the distance to the target, and it used that information to program individual grenades to detonate directly above targets behind cover.
While the XM25 worked well, it was also heavy with limited ammo capacity. Soldiers carrying a Punisher could not also carry a rifle into combat, compromising units in extended engagements. The supply issues, along with its limited usefulness and ultimately budget cuts, put an end to the XM25’s development.
Even though the Army suspended the XM25 project, things have been looking up for Heckler & Koch. As long as the company keeps working on expanding sales in the U.S., and avoids future arms dealing controversies, this change in leadership should not prevent success.