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Barco Gains Co-CEOs

Jan De Witte announced he will be stepping down as CEO of Barco on Sept. 1. He will be replaced in the role by co-CEOs drawn from the Barco board of directors. Charles Beauduin, formerly CEO of Van de Wiele, joins Barco as co-CEO on Sept. 1, while An Steegen, formerly CTO of Umicore, joins as co-CEO on Oct. 1.

A Barco press release credits De Witte as having played a crucial role in Barco’s turnaround since 2016. “He has brought focus to the company, strengthened the leadership team, streamlined the portfolio toward a solutions strategy, strengthened the digital capabilities, and further internationalized and activated the company with a more performing and resilient culture. He also steered the company through the difficult COVID-19 period,” according to the statement.

In noting the decision of the Barco board of directors to appoint Beauduin and Steegen as co-CEOs, the Barco press release praised their combined experience and focus on innovation. “With [Beaudin’s] years of experience as a business leader at Van de Wiele, and with [Steegen’s] years of experience as a technology and innovation leader at IBM, imec and Umicore, and with their backgrounds as members of the board of directors of Barco, Charles and An form a perfect tandem to lead Barco in the coming years. With this choice, Barco is more than ever committed to innovation, growth and entrepreneurship. Moreover, the focus remains on the further internationalization of the company in view of worldwide commercial and technological leadership in the various markets.”

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The Barco board of directors also appointed Frank Donck, independent director at Barco since April 2015, as chairman of the board of directors with starting Sept. 1.

“Together with the board of directors, I would like to thank and express my gratitude to Jan for all the changes he has realized at Barco during his five years of leadership,” said current board chairman and upcoming Barco co-CEO Charles Beauduin. “With his management experience, he was the driving force for more focus and for a more professionally managed and international organization. We are also very pleased that Jan has agreed to advise us in the transition until the end of 2021.”

De Witte noted, “I am proud of what we have achieved together with the leadership team and the entire organization over the past five years, with the support and trust I have enjoyed from Charles and our board members. During the COVID-19 period, Barco has been able to strengthen its resilience and growth opportunities, and is in a position to fully maximize these in the next chapter under the leadership of Charles and An.”

“Digitalization is changing our society at a rapid pace,” said future co-CEO An Steegen. “New experiences, more insights and more connectedness are at the center. This is a great opportunity for Barco, already a world leader in visualization and collaboration technologies, to differentiate and grow more than ever through its breakthrough innovations. I look forward to working with Charles and the entire team to build a promising future for Barco.”

Beauduin has been CEO and owner of Michel Van de Wiele, an international technology company and market leader in applications for the textile industry, since 1993. He holds a master’s degree in law from KU Leuven and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has been chairman of Barco’s board of directors of Barco since January 2015.

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Steegen has been a member of Barco’s board of directors since April 2017. She holds a Ph.D. in materials science and electrical engineering from KU Leuven, in collaboration with Belgian imec. In 2000, Steegen joined IBM Semiconductor R&D in Fishkill, NY. As head of R&D and a senior executive at IBM’s International Semiconductor Alliance, she was responsible for the development of IBM’s advanced logic semiconductor technology. In 2010, she returned to imec in Belgium, where she became executive vice president Semiconductor Technology & Systems. Since 2018, Steegen has been chief technology officer at Umicore, where she was responsible for the company’s innovation strategy and headed the central R&D team.

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