Ex-Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess to lead chip maker Infineon

Herbert Diess portrait

Diess was a member of Infineon’s supervisory board between 2015 and 2020

Former Volkswagen Group CEO, ousted in July, will succeed 70-year-old Wolfgang Eder in February

Ex-Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has been named the next chairman of German semiconductor chip maker Infineon.

He is expected to assume the role at the firm’s next annual general meeting on 16 February, subject to a confirmation vote and the resignation of current chairman Wolfgang Eder.

“In the interest of an age-independent realignment of the supervisory board with a longer-term impact, I will not seek re-election,” said Eder.

“Given the highly challenging environment in which Infineon is active, I am pleased to welcome Dr Herbert Diess as the ideal candidate to become my successor. He has excellent knowledge of the company and of the industry landscape.”

Diess was previously a member of the chip maker’s supervisory board between 2015 and 2020.

He said: “Increasing performance and productivity in the semiconductor industry are driving the extremely rapid progress of new technologies in a variety of sectors.

“Here Infineon has a special position in the global picture. Generating environmentally friendly electrical energy from wind and sun, distributing it, converting it and using it are highly efficient and economically attractive thanks to power semiconductors from Infineon.”

Established in 1999, Infineon claims to be the world’s leading supplier of automotive semiconductors, having accounted for 12.7% of the global supply (as of March 2022). Key customers include BYD, the Hyundai Group and ZF Friedrichshafen. 

It added Stellantis to the list in November, having agreed a multi-year deal to supply chips for EVs, with a potential value above €1 billion (£871 million).

Diess’s accession to the top of Infineon marks his return to a top role after he stepped down as Volkswagen Group chief in July.

Autocar previously reported that his exit came because he alienated investors, setting ambitious (and expensive) electrification plans without bringing them on side.

Technical problems – namely software glitches with a variety of new EVs, including the crucial Volkswagen ID 3 – further hampered confidence in him.

Alongside Infineon CEO Jochen Hanebeck, appointed in April, Diess will be instrumental to the company’s efforts to increase its production capacity in a bid to ease the industry-wide shortage of semiconductor chips.

To that end, the company is currently planning a new €5 billion (£4.3bn) factory in Dresden, Germany, subject to public funding. This will follow new facilities in Hungary and Singapore, opened earlier this year to produce high-power semiconductors, the likes of which are used in EVs. 

Source: Autocar

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