Infineon Names Mayrhuber New Supervisory Board Chief

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) --Infineon Technologies AG named a new supervisory board chairman and chief financial officer in a move that may help to end internal quarrels at Europe’s second- biggest chip maker and assuage rebel shareholders.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Mayrhuber will become chairman of Infineon’s supervisory board and RWE AG’s Head of Controlling Dominik Asam will become CFO, the semiconductor maker said today. Mayrhuber’s contract is for four years and must be approved by shareholders. He will succeed Klaus Wucherer, who agreed to step down after a group of shareholders objected to his appointment in February.

“Mayrhuber was a very well-respected CEO at Lufthansa and he will help overcome the corporate governance issues Infineon has had in the past,” Thomas Becker, a Commerzbank AG analyst, said in an interview today. He said the decision on the new chairman comes earlier than expected and that the news is “neutral to slightly positive.”

Some shareholders at Infineon’s annual general meeting in February objected to CEO Peter Bauer’s proposal to make Wucherer chairman. They submitted their own candidate because they said they wanted a fresh start after 10 previous quarters of losses. Asam, the new CFO, replaces Marco Schroeter, who quit in August over differences about future company policy.

Infineon shares dropped 0.6 percent to 6.55 euros as of 3:52 a.m. in Frankfurt trading.

Opposition

In February, a majority of shareholders approved Wucherer, who had served on the board since 1999. He promised to only stay in the position for one year while the company searched for an outside candidate, despite being tapped for a four-year term.

Wucherer said today at a press conference in Munich that Mayrhuber was chosen for his global reputation, his network of international contacts and his technological expertise.

Mayrhuber is scheduled to step down as Deutsche Lufthansa CEO at the end of year.

The new CFO Asam will begin at Infineon on Jan. 1. He was previously responsible for strategy and investor relations at Infineon before becoming CEO of Siemens Financial Services at Siemens AG.

Infineon, based in Neubiberg, Germany, returned to profit in the 12 months through September as demand for cars, mobile phones and other electronic devices recovered following the economic slowdown. The company on Nov. 16 said it will pay its first dividend in a decade and plans a share buyback.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eva Von Schaper in Munich at evonschaper@bloomberg.net and Allison Connolly in Frankfurt at aconnolly4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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