As from 1 August 2021, Melexis will have a new CEO. Marc Biron will replace Françoise Chombar and assume general management of the Ypres-based automotive semiconductor expert. After 18 years of tenure as CEO, Chombar is moving to the company board, where she’ll take over from Roland Duchâtelet as chair. Duchâtelet will remain a member of the board.
Biron began his career in the electronics industry in 1997 when joining Melexis, where he held a number of senior positions over a 25-year period. From 2009 to 2017, he was VP global development and quality and from 2018 onwards, he has been general manager of the Sense & Drive business unit. He has been a member of the executive team since 2010.
“Going into my 18th year as CEO and now that the company is back on its growth path, it’s a good time to make this change,” comments Chombar. “Albeit in a different role, I’ll continue to serve Melexis as my first priority. I’ll be by Marc’s side during and after the six-month transition period, in the capacity of chairwoman.” Duchâtelet adds: “Since Melexis’ inception, more than 30 years ago, we’ve pursued a philosophy of moving to the backstage over the long run, strengthening the internal organization and enabling it to ensure adequate business continuity.”
The changes come after a decent year for Melexis. Sales grew 4 percent to 508 million euros, with the net result increasing by 15 percent to 69 million. For the full year 2021, the company expects sales growth between 15 and 20 percent.
“After two difficult years in which we faced severe global trade tensions and an unprecedented pandemic, the end of 2020 marked a turning point for Melexis,” says Chombar. “Despite the numerous challenges that Covid-19 posed, out of adversity came opportunity: next to catering to our valued automotive customers as always, we also tapped into adjacent applications that gained momentum with the outbreak, such as 2-/3-wheelers, home appliances and products for industrial use.”
“At the start of 2021, we’re witnessing exceptionally strong order behavior, driven by steep restocking and revived end-market demand,” continues Chombar. “This condensed ordering pattern is now causing supply chain and delivery disruptions in parts of the automotive industry, the bullwhip effect in action at warp speed. Having intentionally kept our inventories at a higher than usual level in the past year, we had a head start to cope with this elevated demand.”