mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

ST Tragedy Turns To Farce

The rift between STMicroelectronics and the EC was exposed yesterday with remarks by ST CEO Carlo Bozotti to Le Monde which were widely interpreted as meaning that he wanted to see more of ST’s manufacturing done in Asia and less in Europe.

This happened just as ST is waiting for a Euros 600 million payment from the French government to help make ST more competitive in its European manufacturing.

EC vp Neelie Kroes’ 10/100/20 plan envisages Europe upping its world market share from around 6% to 20%.

However ST has cut investment in its Rousset manufacturing site this year and delayed an extension to its Crolles manufacturing site.

Later on in the day, Le Monde added to its story without changing the original quote from Bozotti.

It is said that Kroes phoned Bozotti following the original Le Monde story.

An ST PR tells me: “Never indeed did Carlo Bozotti mention an alleged “shift to Asia” for manufacturing during the course of the day.”

Bozotti’s public utterances are frequently gnomic. He talks in a way best described as affable incoherency.

Bozotti’s contract as CEO expires at ST’s AGM this year. Last year it held its AGM in June.

 

Tags: Carlo Bozotti, Le Monde, manufacturing, neelie kroes, stmicroelectronics

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3 Comments

  1. Keith
    January 30, 2014 14:10

    Without state aid, ST would probably have died a few years ago. This saddens me, but ST must live in the real world and I can’t see semi manufacturing being high on governments priority lists these days.

    Manufacturing, IP development, software are all being shunted to low cost areas and I see no change in this. The only western winners are the systems houses like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple etc who can control their supply chain and get revenue from the consumer. The old time consumer electronics companies like the Japanese (and in future the Koreans, but they don’t know this yet) are doomed.

  2. Mike Bryant
    January 30, 2014 12:44

    In the results meeting ST seemed to be relying on the 600m Euros to keep it afloat but if they aren’t investing it in Crolles this would be illegal state aid ! And as their second largest direct competitor is Infineon I suspect this point could be raised with Ms Kroes.

  3. david manners
    January 30, 2014 14:50

    Yes I noticed Bozotti mentioned the Nano2017 grants twice. “We are now waiting for the European Union clearance.” And later on: “We need to make sure that we get this European Union clearance on the grants.” As you say, sounds as if he’s relying on them and is a bit anxious. Then, of course, he goes off and drops a clanger by giving Le Monde the impression that he wants to do more production in Asia when he’s waiting for grants to encourage ST to do more production in Europe. It doesn’t get more ridiculous than this. Maybe Bozotti’s de-mob happy – his contract expires at the next AGM – and last years’ AGM was in June – so it might be a case of ‘only six more months and I’m out of here’.

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