ASML CEO Peter Wennink and CTO Martin van den Brink are stepping down next year. Company veteran Christophe Fouquet will take on both their roles.
Christophe Fouquet has been put forward to become ASML’s next president and CEO, succeeding both CEO Peter Wennink and CTO Martin van den Brink. Fouquet will take the helm on 24 April 2024 at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
Having been with the company for fifteen years, Fouquet has seen all of ASML’s main businesses from the inside. After holding senior positions at Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor, the French national continued his career at ASML in 2008, first in the DUV department and then at Applications. He joined the management board in 2018, overseeing the EUV business line until last year, when he was appointed chief business officer.
This career path makes Fouquet the perfect man to lead ASML, says Wennink. “He’s been with the company for so long and he knows all our customers. Public, suppliers, people, shareholders. He’s a known entity. And from a personal point of view, I’ve worked with Christophe now for so long. He has the same ‘ASML DNA.’”
On the combined business and technical leadership position that Fouquet will assume, the retiring CEO notes that many executives at ASML start from a technical background and develop into business roles – the French national has a master’s degree in physics from the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble. The appointment of a chief customer officer, a new role assumed by Jim Koonmen (former CEO of Cymer and currently leading the Applications business), will relieve some of Fouquet’s workload.
The “strong teams” that Van den Brink has put in place will ensure that the Veldhoven-based company’s innovation machine will continue purring without the man considered by many to be irreplaceable, Wennink assures. “Technology development at ASML isn’t a one-man band. It might not be visible to a lot of people, but we have very strong people in our Research department, our Development & Engineering department and our Technology Development Center. I’m absolutely certain that this transition over the next five months will be very smooth.”
“My collaboration with Christophe has been very close and fruitful for many years, and I’m proud that ASML has been able to grow a technologist like Christophe into the CEO position. I’m happy that he’ll lead our technology organization and place it at the heart of ASML’s future,” comments Martin van den Brink.
“I’ve learned so much from Martin and I think I’ll be one of the first ones to miss him. The team is a treasure that Martin is leaving behind. He leaves us with one more challenge, which is to keep going without him. Without the inspiration he’s given us for so many years. But I have no doubt that the team will also take up this challenge,” says Fouquet.
“Martin has taught us very important things, which we’re going to keep with us. The first one is: the customer is everything. Keep the customer at the center of your strategy. That’s something I totally embrace. The second thing is: you can’t innovate if you’re not willing, sometimes, to have a bit of a rough debate. If you’re not willing to challenge each other and really go to the bottom of things so that you deliver the right technology, the right product to the customer. So this is also something we’re going to keep.”
Van den Brink joined ASML in 1984 and became the company’s top technologist in 1999. The same year, Peter Wennink got on board as CFO, moving to the CEO seat in 2013. During their time steering the ship, ASML left behind its competitors Canon and Nikon to become the world’s sole supplier of leading-edge semiconductor lithography equipment and Europe’s most valuable technology company.