Van Houten didn’t make it to the finish line

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 4 minuten

The man who finished Philips’ transformation from a conglomerate into a single-focus company is forced to step down during a deep crisis.

Philips has announced that CEO Frans van Houten (62) will step down in October, six months before the expiration of his third four-year term. He’ll be succeeded by Dutchman Roy Jakobs (48), who is currently chief business leader for Philips’ Connected Care businesses. Jakobs was also in charge of the massive recall operation of sleep apnea machines, which casts a dark shadow over Van Houten’s final year as Philips’ chief executive.

Van Houten started his career at Philips in 1986 in marketing and sales at Philips Data Systems. After holding several positions at the company, he became co-chief of the consumer electronics division in 2002 and CEO of Philips Semiconductors in 2004. He oversaw the spinoff of the chip division as NXP in 2006, a task that was generally considered as vetting for the top spot at Philips.

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