CEO interview: ST's Chery on automotive, AI and China

November 14, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Things are moving quickly in the embedded application of semiconductors, according to Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics. The electrification of the automobile is moving so fast that leading automotive players have been made nervous by the agility of smaller, younger competitors.

However, artificial intelligence (AI) is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary trend, Chery said. ST will address AI and machine learning as options within its microcontroller-based digital strategy, he said in a telephone interview conducted with eeNews Europe from the electronica exhibition in Munich, Germany.

Talking of strategy, one the first tasks Chery gave himself on taking over as CEO of ST in the summer of 2018 was to conduct a strategic review of the company. "The strategic review is almost complete, subject to a final review with the supervisory board some time before the end of the fourth quarter," said Chery. He added that he would start to communicate the findings of the review in the full-year results in January 2019, and then on multiple occasions up to the Capital Markets day, which is usually held in May.

"As CEO I must be careful not to crystallize too much around a single event. The markets are emotional. There are minor adjustments to be made and they will be disclosed over time. The shareholders did not appoint me as CEO to change everything. If they had wanted that they would not have appointed an insider like me. We will continue to focus on the megatrends; industrial, automotive, smartphone and communications," Chery said.

With regard to the automotive sector Chery said: "Electronica is amazing but clearly there are challenges ahead for the automotive sector, including German companies. This is because of Californian company successes. The electrification of the automobile is a major disruption of the industry affecting tier ones, car makers." It is also notable that Chinese car makers and the Chinese market continue to grow in significance.

Next: New dynamics


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