ASML, Europe’s tech colossus, picks new CEO

Christophe Fouquet

Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML Holding NV announced that it plans to appoint Christophe Fouquet as chief executive officer and president when its two co-presidents retire next year.

ASML is Europe’s most valuable technology company, with a market capitalization of over €250 billion.

The company’s supervisory board said it intends to appoint Fouquet, currently ASML’s chief business officer, as the company’s next CEO, subject to notification at its AGM on April 24, 2024.

On the same date, ASML’s co-presidents Peter Wennink and Martin van den Brink will retire from ASML.

Bloomberg reported that Fouquet, a French national, will take over at a critical time for ASML, with the world’s most advanced producer of chipmaking machines caught up in geopolitical tensions between the US and China that have led to export controls on its technology.

Wennink has led the company since 2013 and ASML’s shares have risen more than 900% during his tenure.

Nils Andersen, chairman of ASML supervisory board, said: “The supervisory board, together with the management team, has gone through a comprehensive succession planning process.

“With Christophe, we have identified a very experienced leader with deep understanding of ASML’s technology and the semiconductor industry ecosystem – acquired through different roles at ASML and other companies – and the right leadership qualities and culture fit.

“We are grateful and full of admiration for the immense contributions that Peter and Martin have made over decades, helping to shape ASML into the successful company that it is today.

“Peter and Martin have been preparing ASML for the future, and we know they will be fully engaged in securing a smooth transition for the company and all of ASML’s stakeholders.”

Wennink said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to secure such a strong successor to lead ASML as of April of next year. Christophe has been with ASML for 15 years, with a major focus on ASML technology, products and customers.

“He started his ASML career in DUV, then led two of ASML’s fast-growing business lines – the Applications business and EUV – and more recently all ASML businesses. We share the ‘ASML DNA’ of collaboration and partnership.

“I will work closely with Christophe to ensure that he has the best possible start into his new position.”

Fouquet said: “I am excited and honored to take up the position of CEO. ASML has built a strong and unique position in the semiconductor market over the years under the leadership of Peter and Martin.

“We have a clear strategy and a great team, and I look forward to building on this solid foundation in the coming years.

“I know I can count on more than 42,500 colleagues all around the world to continue to closely collaborate to further develop our technology, serve our customers and continue to create value for all our stakeholders.”

Martin van den Brink, ASML President & CTO, said: “It has been a privilege to co-lead ASML with Peter and to have brought a strong focus on product, technology and engineering capabilities to the company and its suppliers.

“I am proud of the innovations that we have delivered together with our customers over the decades. My collaboration with Christophe has been very close and fruitful for many years, and I am proud that ASML has been able to grow a technologist like Christophe into the CEO position.

“I am happy that he will lead our technology organization and place it at the heart of ASML’s future. In the coming months, I will work with him to ensure a smooth transition, knowing that ASML is well positioned to deliver the innovations across our product portfolio that our customers need and expect from us.”

Further, ASML intends to appoint Jim Koonmen as chief customer officer, a new position in ASML’s board of management, subject to notification at the AGM.

Koonmen joined ASML in 2007 through the acquisition of Brion, where he was general manager from 2008 until 2015.