(Refile to fix grammar in second paragraph)
AMSTERDAM, March 31 Dutch restructuring expert
Frans van Houten, 50, will take over as chief executive of
Philips (PHG.AS), the Dutch consumer electronics, lighting and
healthcare equipment company, on April 1. [ID:nLDE72U0WR]
Van Houten will replace Gerard Kleisterlee, who will head
Vodafone (VOD.L). Here are some facts about van Houten:
* He spent much of his career at Philips, joining at the age
of 26, with stints in the United States, Singapore and Germany.
He became co-CEO of the consumer electronics division in
2002, at a time when Philips used its technology lab to research
how people interact with technology, resulting in the
development of products such as TVs which turned into mirrors
when switched off, and "wake up lamps" used as alarm clocks.
* He was promoted to run its semiconductor business, later
renamed NXP Semiconductors, in 2004. Two years later he was in
charge of spinning it off at the top of the cycle for $8
billion. He stayed on as head of NXP Semiconductors for another
2-1/2 years, during which period the business faltered as chip
prices came up pressure.
* With a reputation as a restructuring expert acquired with
the spin-off of NXP, van Houten went on to advise semiconductor
equipment maker ASM International (ASMI.AS) on its restructuring
before moving to Dutch bancassurer ING ING.AS to advise on the
separation of its banking and insurance operations.
* The ING separation saw Van Houten work closely with two
other former Philips colleagues -- Jan Hommen, ING's chief
executive, and Ivo Lurvink, its head of acquisitions and
divestments who was also a close friend from their time at
Rotterdam's Erasmus University.
* Van Houten has a reputation as a straight talker who is
accessible to staff and understated but who does not waste time
on small talk. His next restructuring job is likely to be the
fixing or sale of Philips's ailing TV business, the subject of a
profit warning earlier this week. [ID:nLDE72R03L]
He told analysts at the beginning of March that although
Philips TVs were important globally for the brand image, the
business should no longer be a distraction for the group.
Sources: Philips, Reuters
(Reporting by Roberta B. Cowan; Editing by Sara Webb and Dan