Comms chips

Infineon CEO Quits

8:45 AM -- A boardroom face-off at Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX) has resulted in the resignation of CEO Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, the chip vendor announced today.

In its official statement, Infineon says Ziebart will no longer be CEO as of June 1, "due to different opinions on the future strategic orientation of the company."

The "strategic orientation" in question is something Infineon calls “IFX 10-Plus.” Its aim is to improve margins by: cutting products; cutting manufacturing costs; and "increasing the efficiency of the organization," which no doubt means Ziebart won't be the only person leaving Infineon in the near future. The company currently has 43,000 staff.

Infineon notes that, during his tenure, Ziebart "strategically re-positioned the company," improved the company's financial performance, and presided over growth that took Infineon back into the Top 10 semiconductor companies.

But Ziebart clearly wasn't happy to wield the axe, something that board member Peter Bauer is going to do instead. "Infineon’s technology and market position is outstanding in various areas. If we continue to further focus our resources and execute our measures thoroughly and fast, we have good chances for a prosperous future. During the last years, the future direction of the company has been largely set. But we have to execute and -- if necessary extend -- our measures step by step and at high speed."

Infineon's stock is down 3.8 percent today to €5.90 on the Frankfurt exchange.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:40:11 PM
re: Infineon CEO Quits So, this is interesting... Some reports say Ziebart left over possibly forging ties with NXP Semiconductor, a deal that could open the possibility for KKR, NXP's biggest shareholder, to buy a stake in Infineon.

Separately -- NXP CEO Theo Classen thinks consolidation will bring the number of chip companies down to 50, from about 450 -- and that 50 is even too many.


Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:40:10 PM
re: Infineon CEO Quits Currently, there are no plans to promote Bauer to the CEO position, and likewise no plans to seek a successor for the CEO person, an Infineon spokesperson explained.

Well, that's one way of fixing the problem of CEO salaries... ditch the position. :) CEOs everywhere must be hoping that it's a disaster, or others might follow suit.
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