ST's Bozotti to Chery: Get to $12 billion quickly

May 17, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Tuesday May 15, 2018, was the last financial analysts one-day conference for Carlo Bozotti, CEO of STMicroelectronics NV, before he retires at the end of May. Not surprisingly he was quizzed by the analysts as to what tasks or guidelines he is handing over to successor Jean-Marc Chery and how he sees the company in three or four years.

Chery, said that on taking office, he with the senior management team would conduct a review of ST's strategic plan. Lorenzo Grandi, comes in as CFO to replace long-time CFO Carlo Ferro, and Marco Cassis is designated president of sales, marketing, communications and strategic development.

Bozotti told the audience: "$10 billion run rate [annual revenue] is not enough. But we are in a market that is growing because of automotive, IoT, wearable, portable, and home and factory automation. We have the semiconductor products to be more pervasive at major customers and with distributors."

In his seven years as CEO Bozotti has ridden out a stormy period arising from the decision to enter a joint venture with Ericsson to make application processors for mobile phones. He has stayed in office long enough to return ST to strong profitable growth.

The decision to enter the joint-venture may have been done this at the behest of ST's then key customers Nokia and Ericsson but it ended up being a big loss maker. As Nokia and Sony-Ericsson missed out on the touch-screen smartphone revolution ST-Ericsson ended up caught between Qualcomm at the high end and agile fabless chip companies from Taiwan at the lower end. It also took many years for ST to extricate itself from the impact of the joint venture. ST has now jettisoned many applications of digital ICs in consumer electronics. It's annual revenue in 2017 was $8.35 billion.

Bozotti continued: "We need to keep going and execute and become quickly a $12 billion company. We will be a top five semiconductor company, excepting the memory players. And we need to focus so that when we select a market we can be the best in the world. We need to keep this discipline."

Next: Chery's turn


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