Leica Camera CEO, Steven K Lee, has been suddenly u2018removedu2019 from power by the companyu2019s supervisory board and replaced by the companyu2019s owner and board chairman Andreas Kaufman. Lee, who gave a controversial interview to Amateur Photographer at this yearu2019s PMA show, in which he suggested that the companyu2019s M8 digital rangefinder was to be upgraded with a full-frame sensor, had only been CEO since late November 2006.

Leica Camera CEO, Steven K Lee, has been suddenly ?removed? from power by the company?s supervisory board and replaced by the company?s owner and board chairman Andreas Kaufman. Lee, who gave a controversial interview to Amateur Photographer at this year?s PMA show, in which he suggested that the company?s M8 digital rangefinder was to upgraded with a full-frame sensor, had only been CEO since late November 2006.

Andreas Kaufmann will run the company jointly with board financial controller and treasurer, Andreas Lobejäger, on a temporary basis until 28 February 2009, according to a statement issued by Leica late today.

?This change of management allows Leica Camera AG to immediately review strategies and make changes where required,? Leica UK?s MD David Bell tells AP. ?One of the first tasks for Dr Kaufmann will be to positively review all options for the M system?s future. There will be more details in the following weeks.?

During an interview with AP news editor Chris Cheesman and technical editor Angela Nicholson on Friday 1 February 2008, Lee ?hinted strongly? that Leica would announce plans for a full-frame upgrade for its M8 digital rangefinder camera at the photokina show this September.

More exclusive news on this story will follow in Amateur Photographer magazine 8th March issue, on sale Tuesday 4th March.

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Realated news:Leica issues statement on M8 futurePMA Live