NEC chip head takes top slot on the board

NEC chip head takes top slot on the board
David Manners NEC has appointed Dr Hajime Sasaki, head of its semiconductor division, to be its corporate chairman. NEC, 100 years old this year, is the first of the world’s old-established engineering companies to appoint someone from the semiconductor division to the top slot. Sasaki is a leading figure in the international semiconductor industry having given the keynote at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and having been appointed a Fellow of the US Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1961, Sasaki joined NEC the same year and has worked in the semiconductor division ever since. He is president of SELETE the Japanese 300mm consortium. He has been the most successful of all the heads of Japanese semiconductor companies, leading NEC Semiconductors to the No.2 slot in the worldwide industry with revenues of $8bn last year, $2bn more than its nearest Japanese rival. Sasaki, whose father was Governor of the Bank of Japan, is a familiar figure in the UK coming over to announce investments in NEC’s Livingston chip factory and attending opening ceremonies. Asked once at a London press conference where the money was coming from to finance a $1bn expansion at Livingston, Sasaki frankly responded: “I don’t know.”


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