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Electronics Production | May 19, 2008

Will Ziebart leave Infineon by end of May?

According to press releases, Infineon-CEO Wolfgang Ziebart will leave the company already this month. This means that chairman of the board Max Dietrich Kley has decided the internal confict to his benefit. However, he is in crossfire himself.
The Börsenzeitung reports that the Infineon-CEO will leave the company with July, 01. That however also means that the contract – which was to run until September 2009 – will be terminated prematurely. The terms of the departure are currently discussed, the report goes on.

Mr Ziebart’s departure was expected. Background to his departure is a conflict with chairman of the board Max Dietrich Kley about strategic issues. At the shareholders’ meeting in mid February, Mr. Kley openly reprimanded the CEO.

Reuters reports, citing an inside source, that – due to the disputes and the currently weak profitability – the board of director was not acting as a unit. However, there was also discontent about Mr Kley’s harsh line of action. A group of supervisors, including members of the IG Metall, are no longer supporting Mr Kley, reports the FTD.

A resignation on May, 31 would pre-empt an official amotion. Replacements have already been named. According to press reports could Peter Bauer, Senior Executive of the automobile and industrial electronics segment, take over his post. CFO Marco Schröter also has good chances to take over.

The resignation of Mr Ziebart will make a merger between Infineon and another chip manufacturer more likely. As evertiq reported earlier, chairman of the board Mr Kley eyes NXP for a possible merger.

Infineon does not want to comment on such press reports. "We don’t comment that", says a spokesperson to swissinfo.

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