Semiconductor Leadership Imperatives

Selena Loh LaCroix

Selena Loh LaCroix Egon Zehnder, Dallas

Jon Carter

Jon Carter Egon Zehnder, Palo Alto

Grant Clayton

Grant Clayton Egon Zehnder, Atlanta

Industry Snapshot

The semiconductor industry, a prime driver of the global economy for more than five decades, may be entering a period of significant transition.

The industry’s traditional value creation engine – rapidly advancing technology – is under intense pressure from sharply rising costs and vastly increased capital demands. The massive investments now required to innovate and produce next-generation microprocessors is driving major consolidation across the semiconductor ecosystem. Fewer competitors are playing for much higher stakes.

Competition promises to be particularly fierce in the mobile and automotive segments, where demand for more purpose-built products and sophisticated systems solutions are becoming a much bigger part of the product mix.

The question of which business model (e.g., fabless or IDM) will prove best suited to deliver the next generation of semiconductors remains the subject of lively debate.

In sum, the path forward promises to offer plenty of twists and turns, confronting senior leaders with many fresh challenges and complex choices.

Leadership Imperatives

Keys to success in the semiconductor industry include:

  • Meet the continued demand for board members whose experience is clearly relevant to the company’s position in the value chain, and who can provide strategic insights into the company’s growth markets
  • Make the company a magnet for the world’s best technology, design, and operations talent
  • Identify, attract and develop leaders who blend industry expertise with strong general management skills – especially the ability to make sound investment choices
  • Recruit, develop and integrate strategically vital software and systems expertise
  • Meet the highly specialized talent needs of clients in the analog, digital and mixed signal segments
  • Attract and develop marketing and sales leaders who keep the company close to consumer-driven product cycles, score key design wins, and sustain lucrative customer relationships

Focus on Potential

Rigorous, objective management appraisal is among the most important actions semiconductor companies can take right now. Assessing leadership potential is particularly vital, in light of the many uncertainties facing the industry. Candidates who clearly qualify in terms of previous achievements should be further assessed in terms of:

Intellectual curiosity and flexibility. The best semiconductor leaders will relish new challenges and will view familiar challenges in new and different ways.

Strategic insight. The industry needs leaders with demonstrated ability to accurately foresee events in an arena where the future is highly fluid.

Team building. Effective semiconductor leaders will personally attract varied forms of expertise and blend diverse perspectives into a productive dialectic.

Constructive daring. The industry needs leaders with the courage to take strategic leaps.

Attuned Talent Strategy

The semiconductor industry promises to evolve quite rapidly in the years immediately ahead, and demands on leaders are certain to expand and shift in subtle but significant ways. The members of our Semiconductor practice –active as a team in this space for more than fifteen years – will work as your partner to craft and fulfill a senior talent strategy that is thoroughly attuned to the times.

Selena Loh LaCroix

Selena Loh LaCroix Egon Zehnder, Dallas

Jon Carter

Jon Carter Egon Zehnder, Palo Alto

Grant Clayton

Grant Clayton Egon Zehnder, Atlanta

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