Philips veteran nominated as group’s new CEO

8 Jul 2010

The Dutch electronics giant Philips has announced it is nominating former executive Frans Van Houten as its next president and CEO.

Van Houten’s appointment, which is subject to shareholder approval, is due to take effect from 1 April 2011, which is the same day his predecessor in the top role, Gerard Kleisterlee, will retire from Philips.

Van Houten began his career at Philips. He is currently leading the project to separate ING Group’s banking and insurance operations as an independent adviser to the ING board.

He will re-join Philips on 1 October 2010 and will assume the position of chief operating officer as of 1 January 2011, working with Kleisterlee to ensure a smooth transition.

Philips said today it intends to propose Van Houten’s appointment to shareholders at its AGM next March.

“With hands-on experience in marketing and sales and deep understanding of both professional systems and solutions as well as consumer products, and having lived and worked in Europe, the US and Asia Frans van Houten is the right leader in the world of today and tomorrow to continue Philips’ strategy to be a leader in the domain of health and well-being,” said Jan-Michiel Hessels, chairman of the Philips’ board.

“I am happy to see Frans return to our company,” Kleisterlee said. “Frans was a strong member of my team and a strong contributor in setting the direction of the company. I regretted to see him leave with the semiconductor spin-out. Under his leadership, Philips’ future will be in very good hands.”

Van Houten holds a master’a degree in economics and business management from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He started his career with Philips in 1986 in marketing and sales, and has held several leadership positions within the company.  He became CEO of Airvision, an in-flight entertainment start-up in the United States in 1992, and was appointed vice-president international sales and operations of Philips Kommunikations Industrie in Germany in 1993.

In 1996, Van Houten joined Philips’ Consumer Electronics division for which he led the region Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, based in Singapore.  In 2002, he became co-CEO of the Consumer Electronics division and was appointed member of Philips’ Group Management Committee in 2003. In 2004, Van Houten was appointed CEO of Philips Semiconductors and in 2006 joined Philips’ board until the spin out and creation of NXP Semiconductors in September of that year.

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