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Benedetto Vigna Is The Physicist Who Will Drive Ferrari’s New Course

It has more than 200 patents on micromachining

After Camilleri’s departure, ‘Il Cavallino Rampante’ will have a CEO from September who is a great connoisseur of the technology industry.

Benedetto Vigna will take the reins on September 1 as the new CEO of Ferrari. The next Prancing Horse executive will come from STMicroelectronics, where he is currently president of Analog, MEMS (electromechanical systems) and Sensors Group, ST’s largest and most profitable operating business in 2020. He is also a member of the ST Group Executive Committee.

This 52-year-old Italian will be in charge of piloting the course of Ferrari after a tenure held by the president of the automobile, as well as the Exor empire, John Elkann, after the departure of Louis Camilleri at the end of 2020, motivated by “reasons personal “.

The truth is that this appointment has surprised the entire automotive industry, since Vigna has never been directly linked to the four-wheel sector. And it is that Benedetto Vigna, born in Pietrapertosa (Italy) in 1969, is a physicist by training. In fact, he graduated with honors in Subnuclear Physics from the University of Pisa in 1995.

That same year, he joined STMicroelectronics, one of the main semiconductor producers, where he was in charge of starting up the company’s electromechanical systems activities, also known as MEMS. Under his leadership, MEMS sensors had early success with large equipment manufacturers for motion-activated user interfaces.

Vigna has led successful innovations in microphones, electronic compasses, and touchscreen controllers, as well as environmental sensors, micro-actuators, automotive and industrial sensors, and low-power radios for the Internet of Things.

In 2011, Vigna’s responsibilities were expanded with analog integrated circuits and radio frequency products. Five years later, in 2016, Vigna also went to work on smart power devices for equipment manufacturers and the mass market.

Ferrari’s new CEO has more than 200 patents on micromachining, is the author of numerous publications in this field and sits on the boards of several programs funded by the European Union. Vigna’s contributions to the field have been recognized with the title of Executive of the Year by the MEMS Industry Group (2013), the European SEMI Award (2013), the IEEE Frederik Philips Award (2015) and with the title of Director of the Year 2017 by the German publication Markt & Technik. In June 2019, Vigna joined the board of directors of the MEMS and Sensors Industrial Group.

In February 2020, Vigna joined as a member of the Electronic Cluster Advisory Board (CAB) of Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * STAR). In September of that same year, he joined the Council of Technical Advisors to support the execution of the Leonardo 2030 Research and Development Master Plan.

With this resume, Ferrari’s boss John Elkann has trusted Vigna to lead the Prancing Horse transformation process. This is not an easy situation at a time when the entire industry is undergoing a transformation process towards electric propellants. Propellants that in the case of Ferrari will not arrive before 2025.

The appointment of Vigna comes after an interim of more than six months carried out by Elkann himself. The also president of the investment company Exor, controlled by the Agnelli family, of which he is a member – his grandfather, Gianni Agnelli, chose him as his successor – is the president of the Stellantis group, a consortium that emerged from the merger between PSA and FCA, of which he was also president. The Agnelli family participates not only in the automotive sector, but also in the football business, as it owns Juventus in Turin.

Said interim took place in December 2020, when Louis Camilleri announced his decision to leave the positions of CEO and member of Ferrari’s board of directors for “personal reasons”. Camilleri was also president of the Philip Morris tobacco company, a position he left when announcing his retirement.

Now, Vigna comes to a firm that has to face its transformation process towards electrification. Elkann himself acknowledged about Vigna that “his deep understanding of the technologies that drive much of the change in our industry, and his proven innovation, business development and leadership skills will further strengthen Ferrari and its unique history of passion and performance in racing. exciting was looming. ” Vigna is faced with the challenge of proving his worth in a sector in which he is unknown, something that can benefit him.

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