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Not a traditional car man, but a high-tech man. This is how the announcement this week of Ferrari’s new CEO could be described.

The new boss goes by the name of Benedetto Vigna. He has a career spanning more than 25 years at STMicroelectronics, an Italian-French group that is a major player in the world of semiconductors. Vigna is currently in charge of micro-electromechanical systems at the company.

Motion sensor

Aside from being a manager, 52-year-old Vigna is above all seen as a technical wizard. He graduated cum laude in sub-nuclear physics from the University of Pisa. He is also an inventor with a hundred patents to his name. Furthermore, he’s also regarded as the inventor of a three-dimensional motion sensor that is used, among other things, in washing machine drums. This technology was later improved upon and used in e.g. the controls of the Nintendo Wii console.

Benedetto Vigna © Ferrari S.p.A.

Vigna gained his experience in the field of semiconductors, which are rapidly transforming the automotive industry. The new manager will be tasked with taking Ferrari further into the world of next generation technology.

Scuderia Ferrari

In his role as CEO, Vigna is also responsible for the famous racing team Scuderia Ferrari that competes in the Formula 1 championship. He may also be able give the team a boost. The last victory dates back to September 2019.

Vigna marks the first time in recent history that a technologist has taken over the helm at Ferrari. In the last twenty years, economists (Louis Carey Camilleri, Sergio Marchionne), a sports manager (Jean Todt) and a Fiat manager (Luca Cordero di Montezemolo) have all headed Ferrari. Ferrari’s largest shareholder is the Agnelli family’s financial holding company (Fiat).

Read more about the important role that semiconductors and chips play in the automotive sector.