Who is Ferrari’s new CEO

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Benedetto Vigna to join Ferrari as CEO from September 1, 2021

Ferrari recently appointed 52-year-old Italian Benedetto Vigna as its latest CEO, the legendary automaker’s fourth boss in just 8 years, which has certainly been a tumultuous time for the company. In particular, in the past three years, Vigna has become its third CEO, Sergio Marchionne has passed away in 2018 and Camilleri has also reportedly resigned due to health concerns. Vigna’s appointment comes out of nowhere, even though the company had been on the hunt for a CEO since last December, when Louis Camilleri unexpectedly resigned, forcing the descendant of the Agnelli family, the CEO of Exor and Ferrari chairman John Elkann to take interim management. Elkann had indicated in April that there would be a new CEO, but many people believed it would be the one with experience in luxury goods and consumer electronics.

A lot of people had thought about the names of Apple’s former chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive and current CFO Luca Maestri, but it was Vigna who ended up with the esteemed job. What’s interesting about Vigna is that he’s a pretty unknown element, but his background gives us a really good idea of ​​where Ferrari would go.

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Louis Camilleri unexpectedly resigned from Ferrari in December 2020

As many noted during the announcement, Vigna is the President of STMicroelectronics where he worked for 26 years leading his most profitable company – the Analog, Microelectromechanical (MEMS) and Sensors group. At STMicroelectronics, Vigna leads a group with revenues similar to Ferrari’s and he has helped the company become the world leader in motion sensor technology.

Vigna is said to be a technical assistant. In 2010, he helped invent the 3-axis gyroscope that debuted on the iPhone 4, capable of detecting movement in 3 dimensions. At the time, it was much more advanced than the 2D sensors of this type available in low-end devices, but at the same time, it was more affordable than the sensors that allow 3-dimensional detection used in the market. aerospace. It is this kind of sensor that allowed the iPhone to switch seamlessly between portrait and landscape mode. This was first seen during Apple’s WWDC 2010 keynote where Steve Jobs himself demonstrated the capabilities of the gyroscope.

Vigna has been instrumental in transforming STMicroelectronics into a world-class technology provider for large technology companies like Apple. He even helped develop technology that became essential for the Nintendo Wii as his unit developed and supplied the MEMS gyro sensors that became part of its controller, providing a unique user experience that allowed it to outperform the PlayStation 3. and the Xbox 360 helping it to become the fastest-selling game console at the time.

The technology that Vigna helped develop at STMicroelectronics has also enabled modern automotive technologies like ADAS. Vigna’s gyroscope technology has also become ubiquitous in car navigation systems, allowing the system to sense where the car is going and make it aware of 3-dimensional space. This is how a card detects whether the car is turning or not.

Vigna, a graduate of the famous University of Pisa, graduated in physics – he majored in subnuclear physics. He holds more than 200 patents on micromachining and is the author of numerous publications. In 2013, he won the MEMS Industry Group Executive of the Year Award and the European SEMI Award. In 2010, he was also nominated and finalist in the selection for the European Inventor Award. In 2015, he won the IEEE Frederik Philips Award.

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John Elkann named Sergio Marchionne who had a legendary race at both FCA and Ferrari

Exor, which owns a controlling stake in Ferrari, is headed by John Elkann – he is also the chairman of Ferrari and has this legendary ability to spot strange leaders. In the 2000s, it was Elkann who spotted Sergio Marchionne who reinvented FIAT, saved Chrysler from bankruptcy and then took the Ferrari public by unlocking incredible value in the three majors until his death in 2018. With Vigna, Elkann has spotted a tech visionary under the radar – who will be tasked with driving the transformation of the legendary automaker. It also helps that he’s Italian, which is important for Ferrari, but technically an inventor of the tech space, a unique and rare combination.

In many ways Ferrari is to cars what Apple is to gadgets and instead of having someone with experience selling the Ferrari brand Elkann has gone for someone who will help. to turn Ferrari into a major tech as it lags behind in its electrification efforts. Ferrari wants to launch its first EV in 2025, but already a new generation of electric hypercar like the Rimac Nevera is outperforming Ferrari flagship cars like the SF90 Stradale.

Vigna must also help Ferrari revitalize its F1 unit which is at the heart of the Ferrari brand as the technologies developed by its F1 team find its way into its road cars. In 2020, Ferrari had its worst year in 40 years, finishing 6th in the constructors’ championship. In 2019, Ferrari elevated technical chief Mattia Binotto to team manager and general manager of F1. In 2021, under Binotto, Ferrari did not renew the contract of quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel but replaced him with the dynamic Carlos Sainz Jr. This strategy would bear fruit since it is currently 3rd in the constructors’ championship and Leclerc in pole position during the last two races and Sainz in P2 in Monaco.

Binotto is said to have had the trust of Elkann and his former boss Camilleri, although Vigna can also be a great foil for him. The Italian-Swiss boss of the Ferrari F1 team is an engineer par excellence, as is Vigna who comes from STMicroelectronics, based in Geneva. F1 is also at a crossroads with new aero regulations coming in 2022 and in 2025 a new engine formula is to be introduced. The engine formula is currently under discussion and Vigna could play a role in what Ferrari will come up with given their extensive technological background.

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On August 31, 2021, will end Vigna’s stint at STMicroelectronics which began in 1995 and spanned 26 years. However, the very next day (September 1), he will become the CEO of arguably the most exclusive and iconic automaker in the world whose iconic red color even defines car emoji in the digital realm.

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