Here’s why Ferrari tapped an electronics veteran as its new CEO

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Jun 9, 2021
  • Ferrari named Benedetto Vigna as its next chief executive on Wednesday.
  • The electronics pioneer will take the helm on September 1st.
  • Ferrari's former CEO stepped down in December citing personal reasons.

Ferrari named Benedetto Vigna as its next chief executive on Wednesday. The electronics pioneer will take the helm on September 1st and lead the company as the world moves to electric vehicles. Commenting on Vigna’s appointment, chairman John Elkann of the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer said:

“Vigna’s deep understanding of the technologies driving much of the change in our industry, and his proven innovation, business-building and leadership skills, will further strengthen Ferrari and its unique story of passion and performance in the exciting era ahead.”

Vigna is currently with STMicroelectronics

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Vigna currently heads STMicroelectronics’ sensors group. Ferrari’s former chief executive Louis Camilleri battled with the Coronavirus last year and announced his departure in December citing personal reasons.

The sensors group that Vigna leads at STMicroelectronics generates similar revenue as Ferrari. It was the most profitable operating division for the French-Italian multinational last year. According to Financial Times, he was on the team that invented three-axis gyroscopes in 2010 that are widely used on a smartphone and change its screen ratio when rotated.

In his statement on Wednesday, Vigna said:

“It’s a special honour to be joining Ferrari as its CEO, and I do so with an equal sense of excitement and responsibility. Excitement at the great opportunities that are there to be captured. And with a profound sense of responsibility towards the extraordinary achievements and capabilities of the men and women of Ferrari, to all the company’s stakeholders and to everyone around the world for whom Ferrari is such a unique passion.”

Vigna lacks experience of working for an automotive company

The announcement, however, came as a surprise for many as Vigna lacks experience of working for a car manufacturer as well as a luxury brand. He has, however, held top positions at some of the world’s most renowned technology companies. Analyst Philippe Houchois of Jefferies said on Wednesday:

“The appointment is highly unexpected and, in our view, reflects the need to reinvent Ferrari and the difficulty of securing candidates willing to take on the task.”

Ferrari-parent Exor NV (BIT: EXO) hit an intraday high of £62.30 per share on Wednesday but closed the regular session down at £61.37 per share. At the time of writing, the Amsterdam-headquartered holding company has a market cap of £14.79 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 31.05.

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