Ferrari hires new CEO from tech industry

BAKU CITY CIRCUIT, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 05: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, leads Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF21 during the Azerbaijan GP at Baku City Circuit on Saturday June 05, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)

In an interesting move, Ferrari have appointed Benedetto Vigna as chief executive. Vigna comes from STMicroelectronics which is a semiconductor company. Vigna replaces former CEO, Louis Camilleri, who stepped down for personal reasons in December.

Vigna comes from the technology industry but he has never worked in the automotive market. Despite that, the group he led at STMicroelectronics is similar in size and revenue according to a CNBC report, and was the most profitable division in the company.

While many look at this unusual appointment as Ferrari’s effort to reinvent itself as a player int eh EV market, I am curious how Vigna will approach the brand, legacy and commitment to racing in general.

When companies make changes at the executive levels, sometimes that has no impact but in other cases it can see more or less investment in racing activities.

Ferrari Chairman John Elkann said that Vigna brings a “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.”

Vigna said:

“it’s a special honor 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.”

With a degree in physics, Vigna specialized in motion sensor technology and while Elkann does suggest this technology focus will help Ferrari evolve, he stops short of suggesting that Ferrari are leaving internal combustion behind in favor of an EV-only product.

Ferrari has been in new territory ever since the key management shakeup a few years ago with the ouster of Luca di Montezemolo and several key management positions including several F1 team bosses.

In many ways, I think this internal turmoil impacted the future Sebastian Vettel had at the team but that’s just my opinion. Will Vigna turn things around? Time will tell but if you are Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz, you are hoping he is a big fan of racing.

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