Markets have reacted with disappointment to the news that Warren East, the Chief Executive Officer of ARM Holdings, has decided to retire from the company after twelve years as CEO. In early trading shares fells 2 per cent. The move, which came as a surprise, will take effect on 1 July 2013. Simon Segars, currently President of ARM, will become the company’s new CEO at a time when the company is looking to expand globally.
ARM Holdings is one of the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) suppliers. East joined the company in 1994 to establish the company’s consulting business and later became VP of business operations. Within three years he was appointed to the Board as Chief Operating Officer and became CEO in October 2001. Under his leadership ARM has become a global leader in the design of semiconductor IP, providing processor technology for nearly all mobile phones and many other consumer and industrial electronic devices in use today.
“Obviously there”s a part of me that would like to stay in this business forever but we built the business with a team on the basis of collaborative thinking and planning far into the future,” East said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.
Segars, who currently manages the company”s intellectual property divisions, said he did not expect to make any significant changes to company strategy.
“I”ve been here almost the entire time that ARM has been in existence and worked in the management team for most of that time, and worked very closely with Warren developing the strategy that we are now executing,” Segars said.
“You shouldn”t really expect that that is going to change suddenly because the strategy that we have now I”ve been part of building and believe in very strongly.”
John Buchanan, Chairman of ARM Holdings, said, “Warren has transformed ARM during his time as CEO. In 2001 ARM had one processor product line found mainly in mobile phones. Now ARM provides the broadest portfolio of technologies in the industry, used by more than 300 semiconductor customers in nearly 9 billion chips last year. During Warren’s tenure the company has received royalties for over 40 billion ARM-based chips. As CEO he has created a strong platform for growth and consistently created value for shareholders even in a challenging external environment. On behalf of the Board, and the wider ARM team, deep thanks are due to Warren for his passion, service and leadership.”