Matt Simoncini can look back on his six years as CEO of Lear Corp. as a time of refocusing, restrengthening and rethinking where Lear will go next.
Simoncini, 57, will step down Feb. 28 after guiding Lear back from bankruptcy in 2009 and focusing on "smart" seats, connectivity and electrical systems.
They proved to be good bets.
With global sales of $20.4 billion this year, Lear has cemented its status as the auto industry's No. 2 seat maker, behind rival Adient. And Simoncini is confident that coming trends toward more advanced seat technology will pay off handsomely for the company.
"I don't think Lear has ever been in a better position, from a financial standpoint and a product standpoint," Simoncini told Automotive News. "Our product portfolio is in incredibly good shape."
Simoncini will be replaced by Ray Scott, president of Lear's seating division. Scott inherits a company with a strong balance sheet and a no-nonsense product portfolio that no longer includes low-margin interior trim components such as consoles, door panels and headliners.
Lear has abandoned its old ambition of being a one-stop shop for complete interiors. And the company is patching a few gaps in its product lines with acquisitions, such as the deal announced last week to acquire EXO Technologies, an Israeli company specializing in GPS mapping.