Lex Kerssemakers Joins PhotonDelta’s Supervisory Board07 February 2023
The former Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for Volvo joins PhotonDelta’s Supervisory Board. We caught up with Lex Kerssemakers to find out more about his background, his extensive career, and why he joined PhotonDelta.
An Automotive Leader
A veteran of the automotive industry for over 35 years, Lex Kerssemakers joined Volvo early on – starting out in the Netherlands before moving to a variety of countries such as Germany, Belgium, Sweden, the UK, and the US where he was CEO for the Americas. In fact, this is the first time he’s been back in the Netherlands in more than 30 years.
“At Volvo, we started to work with Lidar systems in cars, and the potential of autonomous driving vehicles. The key question was how is that transformation going to happen? That’s when I started reading about integrated photonics.”
Lex Kerssemakers, Member of the Supervisory Board, PhotonDelta
Building a career within Volvo, he gained extensive experience on all sides of the automotive business: strategic, commercial, operational, and technical. For the past 17 years, he’s been a member of the executive management board. During that time, he’s specialized in product strategy and business roles.
During Lex’s time at Volvo the company had to reinvent itself multiple times from both engineering and commercial perspectives. With Volvo’s reputation for safety in a relatively conservative industry, Lex quickly learned the importance of investment in emerging technologies. That’s continued forward to this day, where the focus is now on autonomous driving vehicles.
In recent times, he’s also overseen the transition from selling via wholesalers to opening up new direct-to-customer channels online. Entering this previously unknown market took a huge investment in terms of time, money, and innovation. This shift was also a response to changes in consumer habits and customer demand.
Innovation sits at the heart of Lex’s career at Volvo. So in some ways, it’s perhaps unsurprising that he made the move into integrated photonics. After all, the automotive industry is a market with huge opportunities for the photonics industry. This was something noted by Chairman Of The Board, Rene Penning de Vries, who connected with Lex after seeing an interview with him.
“With the 1.1 billion National Growth Fund Program on the horizon, we are very excited about the addition of Lex Kerssemakers to our Supervisory Board. His strong automotive expertise fits perfectly with our goal to understand the dynamics of the automotive industry with the aim to develop world-class application technology.”
René Penning de Vries, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, PhotonDelta
Lex’s experience in the automotive industry, alongside his track record in building up an ecosystem, made him an ideal member of the Supervisory Board for PhotonDelta. A key piece of his strategy is to ensure a value chain behind the product so that it does not simply become a commodity. From a European perspective, Lex sees it as vital that the region not only asserts its position as a high-tech developer – but also as a manufacturer.
The Road Ahead For Integrated Photonics
There’s a considerable amount of overlap between the automotive industry and integrated photonics. So bringing Lex on board is the ideal way to bridge the gap and even synergize the development and manufacturing of photonic chips with automotive manufacturing.
There are huge opportunities for the transfer of data through light, and the needs of the automotive industry – from more digital capacity in vehicles to a greater need for cooling. Combining new technology with automotive industry insight, PhotonDelta has a real opportunity to create a sustainable ecosystem for the development of next generation applications. This can be achieved by leveraging the technology already established in the Netherlands – and cementing the country’s position as a global leader.
Find out more about the key markets for integrated photonics and PhotonDelta.