Vincent MAHEO
Thibaud MOULIN
Louis POULAIN
HEC
Master in Large
Projects Management
Best in France:
Altis Semiconductor
May 2004
Interviews of
Franck Bermon, HR Director
Pascal Louis, R&D Director
Marcus Reisinger, Financial Director
MAP OF ALTIS CASE
1. Presentation of Altis and its challengers
2. Interviewed People
3. France,
•
•
•
•
•
•
factors of (un)success
HR
R&D
Social and Laws
Finance
Logistic
Quality of life
4. Multiculture in Altis
Conclusion : Why does Altis stay in France ?
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
PRESENTATION of ALTIS
and its CHALLENGERS
• IBM on the site of Corbeil-Essonnes in 1941
• IBM Microelectronics is created there in 1964, first advanced
components manufacture in Europe
• in the early 90’s, Siemens works on a technical project in the
site of Corbeil
• the financial sky of IBM Microelect. looks stormy and to save
the company, a 50/50 joint-venture between IBM and Infineon
(Siemens) is created in July 1999. Altis Semiconductor was born.
2500 people
a revolutionary
R&D project:
MRAM
578 M€
(gross income 2001)
Logics
15% of mobile phones use
Altis components
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
Flash memory
40% sales in
Europe
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
PRESENTATION of ALTIS
and its CHALLENGERS
in Europe: Siemens and their famous
semiconductor center in Dresden (Germany)
the twin manufacture of Altis
in Asia: Taïwan, China, Korea...
many foundries with low costs but not a so high
technology and IP issues
in the USA: not so many on Altis’ sector
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
INTERVIEWED PEOPLE
• Franck Bermon, HR & Communication Director
 Social & Laws aspects
 Operating and managing qualities
 Subsidies
• Pascal Louis, New Technologies Director
 Research in France
 Operating and managing qualities
 State structure
• Marcus Reisinger, Financial Director
 Managing in France, Germany and the USA
 Taxes and salaries
 Investment policy
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
HUMAN RESSOURCES
• to work 24h a day, Altis needs 5 teams whereas US and Asian need only 4
(vacation, work time)
• Asian salaries are not comparable to French
• in this sector, investments are huge so the impact of higher salaries is
reduced: 15 to 20% of costs
20 to 25% less for competitiveness
• French engineers have a general education and are creative
• French need a strong boss who takes final decisions on his own and do
not appreciate to find a consensus (≠ German)
• Not enough technicians in France
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
RESEARCH & DEVELOPPMENT
• Partnership with high level Universities (Orsay)
• IBM has decided to give a revolutionary R&D projet, MRAM
to Altis, why ?
 pre-existing R&D engineering
 close from Orsay Univ. (the creators of MRAM)
 state subsidies
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
SOCIAL and LAWS
• Laws:
 Intellectual property well protected (≠ Asia)
 Flexibility hardly possible (≠ world)
• Syndicates: embarrassing partners...
• Important role of politics: the mayor of Corbeil, Serge Dassault, very
close from the current government has put pressure to get important
subsidies from MRAM project
• To handle with all complex administrative issues, foreign companies
have to hire French specialists (≠ USA)
• Government structure not appropriate to companies: Research and
Industry administrations do not walk the same way
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
FINANCE
• Subsidies: in France, the system is very complex (many actors
from the State down to the city), they are low and only dedicated
to projects (≠ China, rusty sites: Dresden)
• Taxes: very high (≠ USA) and complex (≠ Germany) for the
company and its employees. But the SC sector is in crisis, and a
company does not pay taxes if it looses money...
• Banks: only international banks can deal with this amount of
investment, so no specially French banking behaviour
• Investment: French think more on a long run (≠ USA, IBM’s
demand for ROI=6 months !) and take less risks (=Europe)
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
LOGISTIC
• the proximity of the two Parisian airports is
important: all products are delivered by air and 60%
are sent out of Europe
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
QUALITY of LIFE
• the French way of life is an advantage to convince
foreigners to work in France
• Paris and its prestige is well appreciated by singles
• the Parisian suburbs are a good location for
families with their international schools
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
MULTICULTURE in ALTIS
• triple culture: French, German and American (advantage for
managers)
• 15 nationalities (~40 German)
• languages problems
• less cultural differences between a French and a German than
between an engineer and a commercial
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
Presentation
People
France
Multiculture
Conclusion
CONCLUSION:
WHY DOES ALTIS STAY IN FRANCE ?
• now, on Altis’ sector, engineering is more important than costs
• Intellectual Property is a major issue
• an important part of Altis’ clients are European
France keeps its leading position, but until when ?
China developps their engineering education
With high level engineering and low costs, there will last only one
point to prevent Altis from relocating in China: IP
Best in France - HEC - May 2004
MAHEO – MOULIN - POULAIN
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