Soitec says its succession plan has “full support” from major shareholders


French company Soitec is shown in Rancho Bernardo, California May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

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Jan 21 (Reuters) – Soitec’s (SOIT.PA) plan to appoint a new CEO has the “full support” of its major shareholders, the French semiconductor company said on Friday, after its executive committee challenged causes this decision.

Following Pierre Barnabé’s appointment as CEO on Wednesday, the executive committee sent a letter to the board, seen by Reuters, calling the decision “incomprehensible” given the progress made by current CEO Paul Boudre. .

“Paul Boudre’s chosen successor, Pierre Barnabé, has the skills and experience to lead Soitec as Chief Executive Officer for the next phase of growth towards our ambitious goals,” the group responded in a statement.

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“The process, which began in March 2021, was conducted in full compliance with good governance practice standards and with the full support of Soitec’s main shareholders,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Bpifrance, a shareholder of the French state with a 10.35% stake, declined to comment on Friday, but referred to remarks made the day before by its managing director in an interview with BFM Business. .

In this interview, CEO Nicolas Dufourcq said he was surprised at the reaction of the executive committee and said that the process had taken place in a “completely normal” way.

Paris-listed shares of Soitec rose 1% at 09:30 GMT, after plunging as much as 19% on Thursday, their worst day since December 2014.

The other three largest shareholders in Soitec, each with roughly 10% stakes, are National Silicon Industry Group (688126.SS), BlackRock Financial Management and CEA Investment, according to Refinitiv data.

Barnabé, who is Senior EVP, Group Security Officer and Global Head of Big Data and Cybersecurity at Atos (ATOS.PA), is expected to join the company on May 1 and take over as CEO following the July general meeting. 2022. .

Chairman Eric Meurice and CEO Boudre “are committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition of leadership enabling the successful execution of Soitec’s 2026 strategic plan,” the group said.

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Reporting by Kate Entringer in Gdansk Additional reporting by Blandine Hénault in Paris Editing by Mark Potter

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