To do with the Blackstone Group (which invested in and holds a 44-45% share of Leica Camera AG).

The End is Nigh: Leica Edition

The title is somewhat tongue in cheek of all those that have forecast Apple Inc. as going the way of the dinosaur Any Day Now(TM) over the years. However, the sudden change of Leica Camera AG's CEO from Alfred Schopf, who's been in the position since August of 2010 - to Oliver Kaltner effective April 1, 2015 - is just another signal that things are not well currently. Read more below...

Blackstone to Oust Leica CEO Schopf

Manager Magazine Online in Germany has an interesting article called "Blackstone to End Cozniness at Camera Manufacturer Leica" (in German) which could mean is the end for current CEO Alfred Schopf. The recent Head of Marketing Leica hired, Oliver Kaltner - is tipped to take the reigns. Read more below for details and update!

Leica 17th Best Mid-sized German Company

Over on the German site Die Welt is an article called "These are the best medium-sized company in Germany" (in German). While Leica didn't make the top ten - they did place at number 17. Of the six consumer goods companies listed, they also ranked at the top. We already knew, but the article confirms that the M Monochrom has far outstripped its initial sales forecast - and that it sells primarily to professional photographers and the medical industry. An interesting read. An interesting read - see more below for translation!

Schopf: Japanese Shooting Themselves in Knee

In an article over on Die Welt where they interview Alfred Schopf of Leica in, "The Japanese are shooting themselves in the foot from a marketing perspective" (in German) are some interesting tidbits. For example, the Leica M-E is selling better than anyone thought; some 300-350 per month. He goes on to say that releasing new cameras every six months only serves to frustrate customers and doubts we'll see 60MP cameras any time soon. The big news is that he confirms what we've told you - successors to the S and X2 cameras will be announced at Photokina 2014! Read more below for details and translation!

Camera Magica - Kaufmann and Leica

Over on Manager Magazine Online is an article called "Camera Magica" (in German - see below for English). It starts off by talking about the M Monochrom, how it took one and a half years of development and devouring "tens of millions of Euros" to bring to fruition. Hoping to sell 3,500 units - turns out, it was triple that. It goes on to talk about the near-bankruptcy of Leica Camera AG, the Blackstone investment, the new factory in Portugal as well as the new Leitz Park in Wetzlar (which cost €65M, financed by Kaufmann - Leica is a tenant!). Apparently the dream is to have 300 stores worldwide (with 150 currently). Plus mention of a new series of cameras and Internet services... A lengthy, interesting read. Read more below for translation.

Personal Interview with Andreas Kaufmann

Back in the September 2013 (print) issue of the German Spiegel magazine, there was a rather lengthy and personal interview with Andreas Kaufmann. Not so much about Leica products, but the man himself. It's a very interesting read about his early life, how he made his money, economics, politics - how he went on to Leica Camera AG - and its position in photography and as a status symbol. Now that a month has passed, Spiegel has placed the article, "The Asset Is the Company" online - and It is also available as a PDF (both in German). Read more below for the translation.