Board thinks laterally
Was Ferrari reading Which-50’s recent piece on embracing change during the digital transformation of their model line? Ferrari has tapped Benedetto Vigna of STMicroelectronics to be their next CEO. Insiders had longed speculated that the next CEO might come from the world of consumer electronics, so Vigna’s CV should not cause too many raised eyebrows amongst the Maranello faithful.
Vigna headed up the Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group at ST Micro and has specialised in sensors for much of his career, including being involved with the original motion censors in iPhone. Of late, Vigna has been on the Board of Technical Advisors to the Leonardo 2030 R&D Masterplan. Leonardo 2030 aims to set the vision of a sustainable and competitive Company for the next decade, perfect for Ferrari which must transform itself rapidly to meet challenges resulting from the decarbonisation of the auto industry.
Ferrari has already been transforming its supply chain by investing in “Infor Sales and Operations Planning” (S&OP). The S&OP abolished the Fiat legacy systems and spreadsheet-based processes of erstwhile ERP LN contract to make way for a faster and more precise supply chain planning based on sales demand. The missing piece in the transformation was magnified during the COVID Pandemic when semiconductors and critical sensors were in short supply. No hybrid or electric vehicle can function efficiently without a multitude of sensors, working together to maximise performance. Vigna’s core role as CEO is to guide innovation in the Ferrari line and put his finger on those parts of the supply chain for such components that will transform the way their models operate.
Ferrari launched its first hybrid in 2019, the SF90 Stradale, the company’s most powerful road car ever. The company paired a 4.0-litre V8 with three electric motors to produce 986 horsepower (753 kilowatts) with a zero-to-60 time (96 kilometres per hour) of 2.5 seconds while offering 15 miles of all-electric range. In the meantime, they’ve filed patents suggesting a more impressive all-electric model is on the way, likely to be in showrooms this side of 2025.
Industry experts suggest that by 2030 60 per cent of all new cars sold will be electric. As a low volume producer, Ferrari will have minimal room to move if governments do not extend exemptions for the boutique manufacturers. Vigna’s role will have to be part logistics guru, tech king and political insider if he is to succeed as an agent of change. Welcome to the world of the management doppelganger.