Yesterday, Barco officially presented its new CEO. As of October 1st, Jan De Witte, 52, will take over from Eric Van Zele who will be retiring later this year. De Witte didn’t mince any words about his ambitions, either. “Barco is too modest. We need to show what we can do so we can take on major companies like Siemens and Philips.”
Until recently, Barco’s new CEO was the chairman and CEO of Global Healthcare IT at General Electric. His experience of the healthcare sector will be put to good use at Barco, which has developed an extensive range for the medical sector. “It’s more of a coincidence that I have a background in healthcare, but it’s definitely a nice advantage”, says De Witte. “Visualisation is extremely important in the healthcare sector, such as with medical images for diagnostics or treatment. This sector also allows for continuous innovation and that can definitely offer great added value to Barco.”
The last three months De Witte has had the chance to settle in and get to know the company. He flew around the world to the various divisions in America and Asia. “As CEO it is important to know and understand your own technology. For a while, I spent time with many engineers around the world to acquire the necessary technological knowledge,” De Witte explains enthusiastically. He also thanked Van Zele for making time for this changing of the guards. “Having overlapped with Eric, I was able to pick up momentum and continue from there. The transition will be seamless”, De Witte suggests. Van Zele will remain on the Board of Directors to ensure continuity of the company’s strategy and leadership.
And what will the future bring?
De Witte did not want to give too much information about his plans for Barco’s future, but he did give hint. “In Asia, and more specifically in China and India, I see many opportunities. Efficiency can also be increased and I want to invest more in software and services. We need to prepare for the future, a thought that every technology company should always have in the back of their minds.”