Ferrari to appoint STMicroelectronics executive Benedetto Vigna as new CEO as it plans full electric vehicle launch in 2025.
Underlining the importance of the chip industry to modern life and especially the path to automotive electrification, Ferrari announced its new chief executive officer (CEO) as Benedetto Vigna, who is currently president of STMicroelectronics’ analog MEMS and sensors group.
Vigna will step down from ST at the end of August 2021 and join Ferrari immediately on 1 September 2021. The chairman of Ferrari, John Elkann, commented on the appointment, “We’re delighted to welcome Benedetto Vigna as our new Ferrari CEO. His 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.”
The move comes as Elkann emphasized Ferrari’s commitment to electric vehicle development at its annual general meeting in April. He said, “We are also very excited about our first all-electric Ferrari that we plan to unveil in 2025 and you can be sure this will be everything you dream the engineers and designers at Maranello can imagine for such a landmark in our history.” At the AGM, he also underlined the progress towards shortlisting candidates with the technological capabilities to lead the company towards this goal.
Vigna’s background at ST and his experience in MEMS and sensors is clearly a vital part of the strategy and leadership Ferrari will be looking for. A graduate cum laude in physics from the University of Pisa, 52-year old Vigna joined ST in 1995, founded the company’s MEMS activities and went on to establish ST’s market leadership in motion-activated user interfaces. His responsibilities were expanded to include connectivity, imaging and power solutions and he piloted a series of successful moves into new business areas, with a particular focus on the industrial and automotive market segments.
In his role as CEO, Vigna’s priority will be to continue to maintain Ferrari’s market position along with creating desirable and technically advanced cars. In addition, his knowledge gained over 26 years working at the heart of the semiconductor industry that is transforming and driving the automotive sector will be applied to Ferrari’s plans to develop next generation technologies.
Vigna commented, “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.”
Meanwhile, in a statement announcing the departure of Vigna from ST, the company’s president and CEO, Jean-Marc Chery, said, “Benedetto started his career in ST 26 years ago. He established ST’s leadership in MEMS sensors and then in a wider range of sensors and actuators, as well as leading the company’s efforts in analog and, more recently, optical sensing solutions. On behalf of ST’s executive committee, and all of our management and employees, I thank Benedetto for his contribution to the company’s success and wish him all the best for his future endeavors. We will work together during the next weeks to ensure a smooth transition”.
Vigna added, “I spent half of my life working with a formidable multicultural team to whom I am, and I will always be, grateful. Without such a great team, it would have been impossible to grow the AMS business at the levels of today. I want to thank all the ST family for what they taught me, and for the time we devoted together to transform our dreams into real business”.
The race for electric supercars
Ferrari announced its first production plug-in hybrid vehicle back in 2019, the SF90 Stradale, and then the SF90 Spider convertible last November. These models combine a 90° V8 turbo engine with three electric motors to deliver 1,000 hp and feature a full-electric front axle for electric drive propulsion which also enables independent control of torque to the two wheels.
It has said it plans to unveil its full electric car in 2025 but it is not alone in the race for electric supercars.
Last month, Lamborghini also detailed its electrification roadmap, in which it said it is investing €1.5 billion over four years to 2024 to electrify its entire range by then; this also involves launching its first hybrid series production car in 2023. It said the second half of the decade will then be dedicated to full electric vehicles, with the first one to be launched during that period.
This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.
Nitin Dahad is a correspondent for EE Times, EE Times Europe and also Editor-in-Chief of embedded.com. With 35 years in the electronics industry, he’s had many different roles: from engineer to journalist, and from entrepreneur to startup mentor and government advisor. He was part of the startup team that launched 32-bit microprocessor company ARC International in the US in the late 1990s and took it public, and co-founder of The Chilli, which influenced much of the tech startup scene in the early 2000s. He’s also worked with many of the big names – including National Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Marconi Instruments.