NEXPERIA’S general manager for the UK will step down after “securing a future” for employees at Newport Wafer Fab.

Country manager Toni Versluijs will leave his post after “steering the business successfully through some turbulent waters”, the company has said.

Mr Versluijs joined the Netherlands-based semiconductor manufacturer in 2019, leading UK activities in Manchester and Newport.

The 28-acre fab in Duffryn is the largest of its kind in the UK and mainly supplies automotive markets.

Last November, the UK Government ordered Nexperia to divest its majority stake in the Newport site due to national security concerns over the company’s Chinese ownership.

This September, Nexperia proposed reducing the number of employees at Newport Wafer Fab by around 100, citing global market conditions in addition to the divestment order.

American manufacturers Vishay Intertechnology announced an agreement to acquire the site for approximately $177 million (£144 million) on November 8.

Senedd members for Newport and South Wales East have urged their Westminster counterparts to move quickly to secure the site’s future, with Vishay’s bid now subject to a vetting process.

Mr Versluijs said: “It has been a privilege and source of great pride for me to lead Nexperia in the UK through such challenging times, overseeing substantial investment and growth during the global pandemic and in response to the impact of shifting geopolitical sentiment.

“In both South Wales and Greater Manchester, our business has been built on great people and their passionate commitment to excellence.

“I have made friends along the way and will always look back on my time here fondly.

“Following the long process that led recently to an agreement to sell the Newport site, this is a natural moment for me to hand over the baton to a new leader for the next chapter in Nexperia’s UK story.”

Charles Smit, corporate affairs director for Nexperia, said: “Building on our 50-year heritage in the UK, Toni has steered our business successfully through some turbulent waters, fully investing himself in the responsibilities of leadership and public representation as Nexperia continues to invest in its activities and employees in Manchester.

“We are pleased to have recently secured a future for our employees at the Newport site. Nevertheless, our position on the UK Government’s order remains unchanged.”

Nexperia will announce a successor for the UK General Manager role in due course.