Chombar leaves CEO seat to Marc Biron at Melexis
After eighteen years, Françoise Chombar, the Belgian technology company Melexis’s actual CEO, will become Chairwoman of the Board from 1 August 2021 onward. She will be succeeded by Marc Biron, a civil engineer who joined the company in 1997 at the age of 27. The current Chairman of the Board, Roland Duchâtelet, will remain a member of the Board.
Françoise Chombar is praised for her motivational power and no-nonsense style. She succeeded in turning the SME in Ieper (West Flanders, Belgium) with four people on the payroll into a global player with 1 500 employees and a half billion turnover. Melexis is specialized in the production of chips for brands like Tesla and BMW. Chombar – mother of three – is said to be ‘cool in the head and warm in the heart’.
Marc Biron, who joined the company when he was 27, has built up extensive experience in the automotive industry. From 2009 to 2017, he was VP Global Development & Quality, and from 2018 onward, he has been General Manager of the Sense & Drive business unit. Mr. Biron has been a member of the executive team since 2010.
Melexis – a global microelectronics engineering company – mainly produces chips for the automotive industry. According to the company, every new BMW has an average of thirteen of its chips on board. During the corona crisis, Melexis succeeded in conquering new markets by developing products for household appliances and industrial applications.
Back on track
While turnover shrank by 14% in 2019, it increased by 4% (to 507,5 million euros) in 2020 – despite corona and the collapse of car sales – thanks to this diversification. Net profit went up to 69,3 million euros (+15%). For 2021, a further increase is expected of 15 to 20%. So, after two difficult years, Melexis is back on track.
“Now that Melexis is back on its growth path, it’s a good time to make this change,” says Françoise Chombar in the Melexis’ press release. “I will continue to serve Melexis as my first priority. Marc is the best successor I could wish for, and I will be by his side during and after the six-month transition period, in the capacity of chairwoman.”
“Marc is well placed to guide us through the transition that the automotive industry, a key area for Melexis, is in today. Also, he has started paving the way for the company to apply its wealth of technological know-how to carefully selected new markets.”