Excellent leadership is one of the foundations of Infineon's success. It helps us to achieve our operational and strategic goals. That’s why good, strong managers are so important to us – and that’s why we promote and support them with sophisticated programs and tools. This helps to align Infineon employees with the company’s tasks and to translate the corporate goals into concrete activities. In other words, creating an attractive working environment and ensuring long-term employee retention are key management responsibilities at Infineon.
“I feel that leadership means supporting my staff in their professional development and showing them how they can make an individual contribution to the overall success of the company. In other words, the People Excellence initiative rests on confidence in individual competence. We can only achieve excellent performance if we face the challenge of maintaining innovative work environments and offer our employees enough room to act freely and creatively. I think it’s critical to create a culture of respectful coexistence, one in which honesty and openness to new ideas are givens.”
Markus Fink, Vice President HR
What do we mean by excellent leadership? We have defined three leadership aspects to answer that question:
Leadership is above all about conveying a sense of purpose. Why do I do what I do for Infineon? Why do we as a company do what we do? Managers should model the answers to these questions. They should give employees guidance.
But leadership is also aimed at achieving outcomes. What should be needs to be achieved? What needs to be made clear. A manager’s role also includes formulating clear expectations and goals and monitoring target achievement.
Managers must know and demonstrate how results are achieved and values created. This includes clarifying roles and responsibilities and providing the right resources to do so. In addition, it’s about right behavior in the workplace. Managers personally embody a culture at Infineon inspired by mutual trust and feedback.
All our leadership development initiatives are founded on one thing: our commitment to honesty and openness. Without honest communication, an organization will not be able to develop and grow. It is only a culture of trust and respect that leadership can succeed and employees can achieve their full potential. One key to this is our culture of open and honest feedback. Infineon promotes the targeted continuous feedback between managers and employees.
As part of our annual staff dialogs, STEPS (Steps To Employees’ Personal Success), employees are given feedback on their professional development by their line manager. On the one hand, specific work results are assessed, and on the other employees are given feedback on their conduct – based on our High Performance Behavior Model. The overriding aim of these dialogs is to develop our employees so that they achieve their full potential.
“It was through STEPS that I got the opportunity to openly discuss and explore options of moving from a technical role of Applications Engineer into a Product Marketing position at Infineon. Having made the change STEPS is now helping me develop within my new role by providing focus and direction through an honest and open dialog and feedback with my manager.“
Gunjot Kaur, Product Marketing Manager
Leadership dialogs, conversely, give managers the opportunity to hear feedback from their team every two years. In these facilitated dialogs, employees tell their line managers how they perceive them in terms of their daily leadership behavior. The constructive feedback provided by their employees gives managers useful pointers showing specific areas in which they can personally further develop.
During their careers managers must overcome different challenges, which differ at each level. After they have assumed responsibility as experts in their respective field, they usually lead a team of several experts ("Leading Teams"). In their next development step, they then lead teams with several managers ("Leading Leaders"). Finally, they are responsible for entire organizational units ("Leading Organizations"). This development demands the right preparation and continuous guidance.
Our Infineon Leadership Excellence Program (ILEP) provides a framework program for training our executives optimally for their respective roles and responsibilities - with specific learning modules for each career stage.
“Excellent leadership is the guarantee for Infineon’s sustainable and profitable growth – and that’s why it’s one of our strategic goals. Therefore, with the Infineon Leadership Excellence Program (ILEP), we have created an extremely ambitious concept that is both substantively comprehensive and globally-oriented, which provides the individually-appropriate steps for the development of our managers worldwide and depending on their stage of development. The individual development programs consist of several modules with action-learning approaches, which fosters ongoing learning through regular real-life application phases, self-reflection and support from a coach. The globally standardized basic concept (with slight cultural adjustments in the regions) also enables us to develop a common "language" and a shared skills set on leadership and management at Infineon. The programs are also a very good platform for discussing current business issues with managers and to get targeted feedback from the management team. In a nutshell: It’s a pretty great program that moves both the managers and the company forward!”
Torsten Schmeichel, Global Head of People Development
“I participated in the ILEP1 Training, “Manager Essentials”. There were two three-day sessions. They first they gave us critical knowledge, and we then applied this to our jobs. In the second session the theme was about us as people: we got to learn about ourselves and others more deeply, so we could better manage things like conflicts and difficult situations. The trainings were interactive, extremely informative and practical. My group showed great commitment and interest. We worked together really well and so it brought out the best in each of us.”
David Williams, Director of Systems Engineering Applications in Infineon Power Management & Multimarket Enterprise Power Group in Tewksbury, MA, United States
At our location in Singapore, leaders from the Asia-Pacific region strengthen their skills, most recently in a peer coaching approach. This initiative is a result of our ILEP leadership development program, which provided the methodology and the tools. The participants of this coaching meet regularly in small teams to exchange ideas and views on current management issues. They do this in a structured framework with binding procedures and assigned roles. Peer coaching is therefore a learning format that has proven effective in significantly and sustainably promoting manager communication skills and interpersonal skills.
“The peer coaching was an exciting journey, where I could view and learn about current issues with colleagues in a whole new way. We learned something new in the group – it really expands our skills and abilities, so instead of just exchanging ideas or helping each other to solve a workplace problem.”
Participant Kesavan Nair from IFAP CSC ISC PMM SCP
“Trust and respect played a key role in peer coaching. In the team, we were sometimes able to see things from another participant’s perspective so we could experience and discuss different management situations.”
Participant Yong Boon Loong from IFAP DC DES S SOC
Shinichiro Yamazaki joined us in 2015 through the International Rectifier acquisition. Following the integration of the American semiconductor manufacturer into our company, the Japanese-native took over the management of our Industrial Power Control (IPC) department in Japan. He had worked at International Rectifier since 2008 - initially managing the Sales Department and then headed the Japanese branch of the company. Previous to that, he had been with Texas Instruments for about 25 years. He studied industrial engineering at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo.
You have years of experience in other companies. What strikes you about Infineon?
In particular, there are three aspects which are different from my previous work experiences: First I was impressed by the free access to information. The amount of available data is overwhelming. I can obtain valuable information from different areas at any time. I think that’s a great privilege. Second, it struck me how well Infineon does in ensuring open communication. This makes it possible to have a free and open exchange of ideas that cross hierarchies. Third, I’d like to mention Infineon’s Human Resources development. The variety of contents and methods that the company offers here is enormous.
What would be the perfect team for you for IPC in Japan?
I ‘d like to have a dynamic team that’s dedicated to passionately working together to meet our goals. And it would be set in an environment where we could have good personal relationships and openly say what we thought.
Petra Darnhofer-Demar has been Head of Purchasing at Infineon Austria in Villach since 2016. She is an experienced expert in procurement and supplier management. Since 1999, she has worked in various positions in the Infineon Procurement department – both in Munich and in Villach. In her current job she ensures that the necessary products and services for all of Infineon Austria are provided on budget, on time and at the high quality.
What has your previous professional experience taught you?
At Infineon, I’ve often worked in cross-functional teams - i.e., made up of different personalities with different functions. Even despite intensive discussions, this difference proved beneficial and elevated our performance. This taught me that heterogeneous teams are enriching. So in the end, you don’t only see things from your own perspective but entirely new and good solutions develop from this very difference.
What do you value at Infineon?
The international aspect. It’s exciting, always working with people of different nationalities and cultures. It enriches your daily working day and enhances innovation. Plus: the respectful working with people is also simply inspirational! We can only successfully move and push things along when we’re working together, with mutual respect.
What's your motto?
He who wants something finds a way. He who does not, finds excuses.
David Poon took over as Head of the “CMHT Regional Centre PMM“ in October 2016. Before that, he was responsible for sales in Asia as Vice President of International Rectifier, since acquired by Infineon. Poon can look back on almost 30 years of experience in the IT and semiconductor sector, and has also worked for Philips, Lucent, AT&T and IBM in senior management positions.
What was and still is your new job for Infineon in Asia?
First of all, integrating the customers and employees of International Rectifier into the Infineon organization is obviously of great importance to me. And it has been and continues to be about more than just a pure and formal integration. I want to create an environment in which our employees enjoy working for and with Infineon and benefit from the company.
In your view, what does Infineon stand for?
Quality, performance, commitment.
And what inspires you most?
Innovations are a real inspiration. When our young engineers or distributors create a new product or a new feature, I can really get enthusiastic about it. Our products are so diverse, it’s fascinating.