Ferrari (RACE.MI) has chosen a driver to steer it through its technological challenges. The $42 billion luxury carmaker on Wednesday picked Benedetto Vigna as its new chief executive, filling a gap created by Louis Camilleri’s sudden departure read more in December. A long-term executive at chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM.BN), Vigna has no direct experience of luxury goods or the automotive industry. But his semiconductor expertise and innovation credentials make him well-placed to help Ferrari move away from combustion engines.
Vigna, who run STM’s largest and most profitable division read more , is a physicist who understands electronics and precision engineering. His most immediate challenge will be to navigate the shift to battery power. Ferrari already produces hybrid models, including the 430,000-euro SF90, but it has yet to unveil a fully electric car. Preserving Ferrari’s premium pricing and profit margins may be a bigger challenge than the science. (By Lisa Jucca)