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Globalfoundries, a leading contract maker of semiconductors controlled by Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, on Thursday announced the appointment of new leaders. Doug Grose, a former manufacturing chief at AMD, will leave his CEO post at GF and will be temporarily replaced by Ajit Manocha, a former advisor to ATIC. In addition, the company appointed chairman and vice chairman.

Ajit Manocha has been appointed interim chief executive officer of Globalfoundries. James A. Norling will serve as executive chairman and Ibrahim Ajami (the chief executive of ATIC) will serve as vice chairman of the Globalfoundries board of directors. All appointments are effective immediately. The move by Globalfoundries is quite surprising, given the fact that the company currently does not have a replacement for CEO.

Doug Grose, who has served as CEO of Globalfoundries since its inception, will transition to become senior advisor to Globalfoundries and ATIC with a focus on technology leadership and ensuring delivery of next generation technologies for competitive differentiation. Chia Song Hwee, chief operating officer, will remain with the company in that position until August 2011, when he will return to be part of Singapore’s business future.

One of the reasons why Globalfoundries might fire Mr. Grose is delays with the ramp up of 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology, which forced GF to sign a new wafer purchase agreement with AMD under which the latter pays only for working chips, not for the whole wafer.

“Doug Grose and Chia Song Hwee formed the foundation of Globalfoundries, bringing together the world’s leading-edge manufacturing technology with the heritage of a full-service foundry partner. This new leadership team will build on that foundation, as we increase investment in technology, capacity and talent while optimizing performance,” said James Norling, the chairman of Globalfoundries.

Ajit Manocha’s focus in the short-term is to work closely with top management and talent of the company to optimize performance, continue progress on the customer and technology roadmap, and continue the efficient ramp of capacity in Dresden and New York. Mr. Manocha is a veteran semiconductor industry executive with more than 30 years of global expertise in operations, general management, and manufacturing. The executive worked at Spansion, NXP, AT&T and so on.

Through end of May 2011, ATIC had invested over $6 billion, to acquire the former manufacturing assets of Advanced Micro Devices in Dresden, Germany ($2.1 billion in March 2009) and the assets of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore ($3.1 billion in December 2009) as well as an estimated $1 billion to construct a new fabrication facility in upstate New York. Through the end of 2012, ATIC will invest another approximately $6 billion in manufacturing capacity in Dresden, Singapore and New York with initial construction to begin in Abu Dhabi.

 “Globalfoundries, with the continuous support of ATIC, is in the middle of an intense, competitive ramp-up of manufacturing capacity and technology development. Under this new leadership team, investment in Globalfoundries will double over the next 18 months," said Mr. Ajami.

Ibrahim Ajami has been CEO of ATIC since November 2008, leading the investment company through strategic acquisitions of semiconductor manufacturing assets and the creation of Globalfoundries as well as other investments in innovative start-up companies such as Calxeda.. He joined ATIC from Mubadala Development Company, where he was associate director of acquisitions and led the initial investment in AMD in 2007.

Tags: ATI, AMD, Globalfoundries, Semiconductor, Business

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