A Ferrari is parked in front of the New York Stock Exchange on the occasion of the Ferrari Automotive Company’s IPO on October 21, 2015 in New York City.
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Ferrari has named electronics pioneer Benedetto Vigna as its new CEO as the company adjusts for the electric vehicle age.
Vigna will move from the semiconductor company STMicroelectronics to Ferrari on September 1st, where he currently heads the sensor group.
The Italian sports car manufacturer announced this in a statement on Wednesday. It comes after former CEO Louis Camilleri resigned in December for personal reasons following a reported battle with Covid-19.
Ferrari said the 52-year-old Italian has experience working for some of the world’s leading technology companies. But his appointment comes as a surprise to many as he has never worked for an automotive company or luxury brand before.
“The appointment is highly unexpected and we believe reflects the need to ‘reinvent’ Ferrari and the difficulty of finding candidates willing to take the job,” said Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois in a note.
As part of a sustainability push, automobile manufacturers around the world are moving away from internal combustion engines towards electric vehicles, which are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries. European automakers are currently catching up with Tesla, which has become a household name in the electric vehicle market.
The unit that Vigna currently runs has revenues similar to Ferrari’s overall and has been the company’s most profitable division over the past year.
Vigna has a degree in physics from the University of Pisa. He started at STMicroelectronics in 1995 and helped the company become a leading provider of motion sensors.
He was part of the team that invented triaxial gyroscopes around 2010, which, according to The Financial Times, change a phone’s screen ratio when it’s rotated.
Ferrari Chairman John Elkann said in a statement that Vignas “deep understanding of the technologies that drive much of change in our industry and his proven innovation, business building and leadership skills will further strengthen Ferrari and its unique history of passion “. and achievement, in the exciting era ahead of us. “
Vigna said in a statement that “it is a special honor to come to Ferrari as CEO and I do so with an equal sense of excitement and responsibility.”
He added: “Enthusiastic about the great opportunities there are to be seized. And with a deep sense of responsibility for the exceptional achievements and skills of the men and women of Ferrari, for all of the company’s stakeholders and for all around the world for whom” Ferrari is such a unique passion. “