Developing Local Leadership in Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Operations
Between 2004 and 2011, Infineon Technologies, a German semi-conductor company, was shifting its supply chain functions from Munich to Singapore. And Rainer Thomas, senior director corporate supply chain for Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific, was responsible for managing this shift over those six years. His experiences illustrate the importance of developing and empowering local leaders. Thomas recalls back to one particular conflict in 2010 where he had to mediate between Christian Feilhuber, a young German manager on one of the product ramp groups in the industrial division, and Yeo Yau Xiong, a new Singaporean team member. The dispute was over ramp timing and management. Thomas had to decide how to handle the situation so that Yeo not only performs at his best in a global organisation, but also be accepted and utilised by Feilhuber — all the while maintaining the best interests of Infineon.
This case helps students understand the need for strong local leaders in a global company and the need for a strong connection to the company headquarters. It could be used to analyse the viewpoints of both the headquarters and the regional organisation in developing local leaders, and also examine the main points of Infineon’s successful leadership development programme in Singapore.
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