Melexis CEO: Strong alone

November 11, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With sales of €400 million euros in 2015, Melexis is one of the smaller semiconductor vendors, but a nevertheless a rather successful one. At Electronica, EE Times Europe met Melexis CEO Francoise Chombar for a short interview.

The semiconductor industry seems currently be in a consolidation phase: NXP – itself not exactly a light weight - is swallowed by Qualcomm, Intersil by Renesas – and Melexis’ main competitor Micronas has been bought by mighty Japanese industry group TDK. Time for Melexis to look out for a strong partner? No, says Chombar, rather the opposite. “The current situation amidst newly intensified market concentration in the semiconductor industry actually creates opportunities for companies the size of Melexis, because the list to choose from for customers get shorter,” she said. Is she sure? With the strong backing from TDK, Micronas could become a formidable contender, right? But Chombar is quite certain that she is not afraid of any giant. Because, first, TDK and Micronas are not playing in exactly the same market segment where Melexis is operating, and, second, Micronas has not the degree of fitness as Melexis, Chombar explained. “They have been struggling for quite a while. The takeover by TDK gives them the chance to recover, but they are no longer masters of their own destiny,” she argued.


Trust in her own strength:
Melexis CEO Francoise Chombar

 

Plus, Melexis is more creative and innovative, at least as seen from Chombar’s perspective. “We are continuously renewing our portfolio”, she said. “We invest 14 to 15 per cent of our sales into R&D and have a very healthy balance sheet. Our growth is all-organic, based on the ingenuity and creativity of our staff.” She added that size is not the only success factor: “Perhaps we are small, but we have strong growth of 13 % in overall sales. Over the past 5 years, we had a CAGR of 12% while the market only grew at 5%.”

 

Again, the eeNews Europe reporter remained skeptical. After all, the semiconductor industry is probably the most capital intensive industry in the world. So how can a small company afford the immense costs