LONDON – Globalfoundries Inc. and its majority shareholder, the Abu Dhabi controlled Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), have announced Ajit Manocha has been appointed interim CEO. The move is part of a leadership change that sees James Norling becoming executive chairman of the board and Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC, appointed vice chairman. All appointments are effective immediately.
Foundry chipmaker Globalfoundries (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said it has put a new leadership team in place to meet demands from customers for more capacity, faster technology development and greater agility. The move is also part of a plan to spend $6 billion on technology, talent and manufacturing capacity over the next 18 months, the company said.
Manocha, who has been working as a consultant to ATIC, replaces Doug Grose, who has served as CEO since the formation of Globalfoundries. Grose will become a senior advisor to company focused on the delivery of next-generation technologies, Globalfoundries said.
Chia Song Hwee, chief operating officer, will leave the company in August 2011 to become "part of Singapore's business future," Globalfoundries said.
"Under this new leadership team, investment in Globalfoundries will double over the next 18 months," said Ajami, in a statement. A company spokesman added that Globalfoundries'technology roadmap remains "on track" as evidenced by the partnership with AMD on the Llano Fusion processor, which is made by Globalfoundries in a 32-nm high-K metal-gate manufacturing process.
I guess anyone that inherits the money losing ops of AMD in Dresden, merges it with the money loosing ops of Chartered in Singapore, and decides to build two new Fabs (NY and Abu Dhabi), both of them really late in the cycle as to matter at all in any credible competition; and in the process blows away $10 billion to start; while sustaining steady losses of over $0.50 on every dollar of product; or close to $2.4 billion this year, up from $2.0 billion last year; and sets up the company to obliterate close to $15 billion over the next 5 years is a venture investments sales genius!
It is miracle that Dr. Grosse has survived this long amidst TSMCs dominance, lack of volume sales, historical losses, and recently rumored reposition of Intel in the wireless foundry business.
My only question is: How did Dr. Hector Ruiz and Dr. Doug Grosse managed to sell ATIC and Mubadala on the idea of converting Abu Dhabi in another Dresden like Silicon disaster?
@gutiea: AMD is not a Dresden Company. Globalfoundries is not a Dresden Company.
For those of you who do not know about Dresden, it is meant to be the center for one of the two remaining large semiconductor clusters in Europe, more at www.silicon-saxony.com . Both have their headquarters far away from Dresden and are being managed by non-Germans from these far away locations. The technologies that are being developed at the Dresden fab are leading edge in terms of dimensions, quality and time-to-market. Now it comes-the market(ing). Technologies and processors need to be sold! To me it seems to be more and more a problem of selling these things. They are not being sold by the Dresden site. In Dresden is (only) technology development and fabrication. These guys though stick (and always have)to their promisses and schedules to the share holders and customers with all the effort (and money) that this takes. But do the marketing and sales guys do that too? If it might become a disaster it will not be because of anybody in Dresden!
@StefanSchubert: I never implied that the Dresden is the cause of Globalfoundries now, and before that, AMD's demise. However, Saxony contributed through loan guarantees and grants to extend the life of a company that has consistently proven is unable to carve a viable business niche for its "cutting edge", "timely developed" and "properly priced technologies". Just as AMD was unable to use much of its captive Fab capacity available in Dresden; Globalfoundries is finding that out selling TSMC is just as hard. Consistently delivering nodes late, and more recently failing to achieve production yields for 3Qs in a row, does not help GloFo's sales force that must over promise capabilities just to steal away some of TSMCs and Samsung's customers. Should we blame the poor economic performance of said Fabs in Saxony's politicians, an epidemic of bad timing, Intel's relentless profitability, uncooperative centrally planned markets, unresponsive subsidies, or all of the above? TSMC and Intel seem to be doing alright with whatever they are doing, perhaps there is a hint on this that we are not decoding?
When GF was initiated the concern was that ATIS would invest in the most capital intensive market known on the planet. Sort of puts a sore spot on the western leadership running investments for ATIS and sourced from companies that were never great successes. Well hind-sight is 20:20 and now the investors need to clean house. First they should start with management that is not just focused on filling their pockets with millions of dollars, willing to sit in less fancy offices, cares about creating long term jobs for employees, and willing to be a leader to the Middle East investors of ATIS. GF does not need another re-tread semiconductor CEO with a big name but less than stellar performance. Maybe it is time to recruit from outside the industry!
Global Foundries is competing with the best in the World, "TSMC", and can't even keep their execs from the Chartered acquisition. Temporary CEO? Sounds like AMD who can't find a leader?
The reliance upon a AMD as a base volume of business and a lack of competitive sales team will be their doom. Choosing NY as a technical center will not go well as politics makes a bad business partner. Too bad to see another AMD company fail. Let's hope their Arab owners don't run out of oil before GF runs out of money.
In my opinion, lot of thought and deliberations should be put in, before choosing a person of Indian origin as CEO, especially in a situation of economic/financial distress the entire world is in. Relying on 'degrees' and 'certificates' will only pave way for 'conventional' approaches. In this current recession/depression, what we need is a highly unorthodox approach. Sure, people of Indian origin can follow the rule book to the T, but 'break the rules'? Definitely not. Vikram Pandit was chosen as CEO of Citigroup and there has been no 'rapid progress'. Conservative approaches is less likely to work in such times.
This discussion is about the goings on in GF. Ajit Manocha is a respected Operations executive and a great choice to lead GF. It has nothing to do about being Indian as there is nothing to do with Citibank performance and Vikram Pandit being an Indian. Sounds like you have a problem being an Indian.
Where does TSMC come into the picture? It is after all a decision of Global foundries. It is not known whether it has started handling at least ASICs from other companies, apart from say processors from AMD. So, to say that it will take on TSMC is premature!
ATIC have big pockets guys. Yes, they are making huge losses on their investment in GF but these are peanuts for the Abu-Dhabi sovereign fund. What they need is precisely more investment in technology and capacity, something that their competitors cannot match, only then the rewards would come by eating into their competitors' markets. Wait and see....
Doug is taking all the responsiblity of non-performing foundry entity but this merger between AMD fab and Chartered was bound for failure from the start. AMD/Globalfoundries should not have taken over Chartered.
Interim CEO roles are booming.. It is an interesting business in that you have only the real goal in mind - how do you create a viable thriving business... Not how you are going to "leave your mark, create a legacy, etcetera.." . I've done a couple of these gigs in the past years and the results when you focus on the end goal / results can be quite refreshing...
In one sense all CEOs are interim CEOs. I believe the average period of tenure for public companies is about five years.
But perhaps they should always be labeled as interim if it keeps the CEO focused on "thriving" and less on "making a mark."
A fly hitting a windshield makes a mark, but not in a good way.
@SiliconAsia: it may be too premature to say that the Chartered acquisition is doomed to fail. It is in a strategic and lower-cost location that NEEDS to stay in GF's organization. Singapore also provides one of the best diversified workforce, has a complete Semi ecosystem and has some good academic institutions to liaison with (IME for example).
The challenges for GF are in the NY and Abu Dhabi fabs, both of which have had to create an ecosystem of partners and the ancillary industries locally.
GF is also hiring these days in the Silicon Valley. I suppose time will tell, I wish Ajit the best of luck to steer GF in the right direction.
Dr. MP Divakar
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