Ferrari nominates a less experienced electric pioneer as a senior
Ferrari appointed an electrician as their chief, which ended a search that began late last year when their former boss Louis Camilleri came down with the Covid-19.
New boss Benedetto Vigna, from Italy, is the head of sensors at STMicroelectronics, the largest and most profitable team on the network. He will join supercar makers in September.
Vigna has been at STMicroelectronics since 1995, launching leading-division divisions, which are now financially equivalent to employees like Ferrari.
He excels at driving sensors and was one of the developers of three-axis gyroscopes that change the display of the screen when the phone is switched on.
The same technology that started in the iPhone 4 is now commonplace in the modern automotive industry, with Vigna leading the ST pressure to give automotive companies more technology.
Yet his selection is even more surprising, as he did not know cars or experience. The prospective incumbent had several senior executives.
“The appointment was unexpected and, in our opinion, highlights the need to ‘reinstate’ Ferrari and the difficulty of finding candidates for the project,” said Philippe Houchois, a traffic researcher at Jefferies.
“Having said that, one should not ignore the views of Ferrari and Exor chairman John Elkann,” he said.
Exor, led by Elkann, owns Ferrari voting rights, 36%, and 14% of Stellantis, a car manufacturer manufactured in combination with Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA this year.
Elkann is known for his talent after choosing the unknown Sergio Marchionne to chase down the Fiat that crashed in 2004.
Over the next 14 years Marchionne turned the business into a 200bn empire, including acquiring Chrysler and outsourcing Ferrari and CNH Industrials as separate businesses.
Speaking Wednesday at the event, Elkann said Vigna “has a good understanding of the technologies that drive so much of our work, as well as its proven expertise, business building and leadership skills, and will strengthen Ferrari with its unique work ethic, in the exciting future.”
Vigna called his election a “special honor” and said he shared “the knowledge of the successes and potential of Ferrari’s men and women, to all those involved in the company and to everyone in the world with whom Ferrari is a special passion”.