2021 ALL STAR | CEO, GLOBAL SUPPLIER
Magna International CEO Swamy Kotagiri might not have gotten the blockbuster deal he wanted this summer, but a message was sent nonetheless.
With Kotagiri, 52, at the helm, the world's fourth-largest parts supplier by annual sales to automakers is betting big on its capabilities in advanced driver-assistance systems technology, and it's willing to spend big — but smartly — to bolster it.
"One of the key pillars of this past year was to focus and deploy capital in a very pragmatic way to focus on high-growth areas," Kotagiri said. "ADAS happens to be one of them."
Magna made a splash this year when it made a deal with Swedish advanced driver-assist systems supplier Veoneer for $3.8 billion, a move heralded as a "masterstroke" by one analyst. It was not to be, however, as Qualcomm and New York investment firm SSW Partners outbid Magna and bought Veoneer for $4.5 billion.
Nevertheless, Kotagiri said Magna would stay the course on its strategy. In 2022, for instance, it will debut a new digital radar on the Fisker Ocean electric SUV that it says can enhance a vehicle's ability to detect objects beyond a traditional analog radar. The radar was developed as part of a partnership with Texas-based startup Uhnder.