Carlo Bozotti, CEO, seems to be getting the hang of this semiconductor thing. In a stroke worthy of his illustrious predecessor, he has got the French government to stump up a good chunk of change to support ST’s process R&D and most advanced production facility.
It was interesting to hear the French industry minister, Christine Lagarde, call Crolles a ‘production site’. Although everyone knew it was one, it always used to be officially referred to as an R&D line – presumably to comply with some Byzantine regulation about giving grants to research plants but not to factories. Maybe all that’s changed now.
Be that as it may, Bozotti has done a grand job of wooing the French authorities, a job reminiscent of the master himself, Pasquale Pistorio.
Many years ago I was at a conference in Naples where Pistorio was speaking. I asked ST if I could have some time with him. ‘No’, they said, ‘he’s leaving straight after his speech’.
Later that night, the ST people said: ‘Pasquale’s staying on another night. Come and talk to him.’
Next morning, a change in speakers was announced. Some local big-wig, a minister of something or other, was going to wind up the conference.
After the minister’s speech Pistorio, who had positioned himself in a seat on the aisle, was the first person to greet the minister as he left the room – a warm shake of the hand, an arm just touching the shoulder, gently leading him off to a quiet corner.
I’ve always wondered if that meeting had anything to do with the announcement, the following year, that the Italian government would give $700 million towards the building of ST’s Catania fab.