On the issue of CEO succession – as in many things – ARM has acted in contrast to rival semiconductor company Intel.
Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) announced back in November 2012 that CEO Paul Otellini would be retiring in May 2103, aged 62, and then set off on a headhunting exercise, which seemed to show signs that the company is spooked. It would also seem likely that Intel is going to go outside the company for the first time in its existence.
In contrast processor IP licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) has played its cards close to its chest and has been doing its own CEO due diligence in private and concluded that an internal candidate, Simon Segars – effectively number two to CEO Warren East for quite a while – is the best person to replace East when he steps down on July 1.
It's hard to argue with the logic. Segars is coming up to 22 years at ARM and worked as an IC engineer on some the company's early processor core designs as well holding many senior executive positions in engineering and sales and he has worked for ARM in the U.K. and overseas. He has been at ARM longer than East and is five or six years younger – what's not to like?
East is not going to retain a seat on the board or have any position at ARM after June 30, 2013. It will be a "clean break" he told analysts on a conference call on March 19 immediately after his retirement from ARM was announced. "I am now looking forward to some new challenges and maybe travelling a little less," he said.
When asked about what those challenges are and whether he would contemplate leaving the U.K., East said: "I am passionate about technology. I am almost bound to stay connected to the tech world in some way. I hope to do things that will be complementary to ARM, maybe in the U.K."