(Bloomberg) -- ASML Holding NV’s shares have booked a tenfold gain over the decade-long tenure of outgoing Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink, yet in the high-flying world of the semiconductor industry that’s nothing out of the ordinary.
The chip-equipment maker’s shares have soared about 930% since Wennink took the reins back in July 2013, helped by booming demand for smartphone chips that’s driven similar gains in peers like Applied Materials Inc. and KLA Corp. That pales in comparison to some other stocks in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, like Nvidia Corp., which has multiplied more than 130 times over the period.
Wennink is set to be replaced by Christophe Fouquet as CEO and president when he retires next April. Chief Technology Officer Martin van den Brink, currently co-president with Wennink, is retiring at the same time, the company said in a statement today.
Wennink’s tenure coincided with a rise in the use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the chip manufacturing process. The technology, which faced multiple technical challenges when he took charge, was first used to power a smartphone-chip in 2019 and accounted for one-third of ASML’s revenue last year.
While the retirement of long-serving executives does create some uncertainty, Citigroup Inc. analyst Andrew Gardiner had seen Fouquet as the most likely internal candidate to take over. The change is “the least disruptive and most smooth management succession that the market could have anticipated,” he wrote in a note.
Fouquet will now take on the responsibility of developing and scaling ASML’s next-generation equipment, dubbed high-NA EUV, a key for the company’s ambition to expand revenue to as much as €60 billion ($66 billion) by 2030.
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