Developing local leadership in Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Operations
This case uses the shift of Infineon’s operations team to Singapore, starting from late 2004 to 2010, to illustrate the importance of developing and empowering local leaders. Asia was of great strategic importance for a variety of reasons, and the decision to strengthen the supply chain by increasing headcount to Asia in 2004 was a logical step for Infineon’s consumer products division. However, this required not only a competent workforce in Singapore, but also the acceptance of the Munich management and colleagues.
Rainer Thomas had been responsible for one of the first operations teams that moved from Munich to Singapore for the consumer product division in 2004. Over the next six years, Infineon continued to shift supply chain functions from Munich to Singapore to join the existing regional teams. In 2010, Rainer headed this entire Asia Pacific centralized supply chain team. In this case, a particular conflict is highlighted in 2010, as Infineon’s industrial products division also commits to expanding in Singapore.
Christian Feilhuber, young manager of one of the product ramp groups in the industrial division, is not satisfied with the performance of his new Singaporean team member, Yeo Yau Xiong. Yau Xiong, ramp manager for a new product, does not agree with how his management is handling the ramp, as this affects the critical ramp timing and does not take advantage of his own network and expertise in production. Rainer sees both sides of the conflict and must decide how to manage the situation so that Yau Xiong can perform at his best in a global organization and be accepted and utilized by Christian in the best interests of Infineon.
Interviews with top-level and mid-level managers from Germany and Singapore describe the strategy behind expanding the supply chain to Singapore, the importance of a strong local team and the challenges faced by such a significant company shift.
supply chain management, Asia, competitiveness, management
Integrated circuit design and manufacturing
Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate
Singapore Management University