Philips Electronics Wednesday named Gerard Kleisterlee as its chief executive to succeed Cor Boonstra effective April 30, 2001. Philips has also created the title of chief operating officer for Kleisterlee, which he will assume tomorrow as he begins his transitional role.
Kleisterlee, who is president of Philips' Components Group, is credited with shaking up the division by selling off its once-mainstream passive components business to concentrate on emerging chip technologies for the handheld telecom and Internet-access device market. Under his tenure, Philips also leapfrogged into a leading global supplier of flat panel displays, culminating in a joint venture with Korea's LG Electronics, known as LG.Philips LCD Co.
Boonstra, who led Philips through a series of divestitures and helped the company shed its image as a stodgy electronics manufacturer, had previously announced he would step down next year.
A 25-year Philips veteran, Kleisterlee has run the Components Group since January 1999. Prior to that he was president of Philips' Taiwan operations, and later added responsibilities for all Philips' activities in China. Kleisterlee also served as managing director of Philips' display group from 1994-96, after heading the company's display operations in Europe.
Separately Philips Wednesday became the sole owner of a flat-panel joint venture with Hosiden Electronics of Japan, acquiring the remaining 20% interest in the company it didn't already own. The Japan-based joint venture will be renamed Philips Components Kobe K.K. and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dutch company.
The move marks the end of Hosiden's involvement in the FPD market. The company had been a major supplier but turned to Philips in 1997 because it lacked financing to add more modern fab capacity.