Forget about the East coast earthquakes, all the moving and shaking of late is taking place in Silicon Valley and other technology hotspots. This past week alone has seen HP's TouchPad emerge as the most sought after tablet, Steve Jobs resign as CEO of Apple, Acer post a quarterly loss for the first time in company history, and AMD finally pick a new captain.
Well here's some big news late on a Wednesday afternoon: Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple. There's little information available about the sudden announcement beyond the fact that Tim Cook, previously the COO, will become the new CEO and that Steve Jobs will become chairman of the board.
There's currently no information about the reason behind the resignation, although it's not hard to imagine that Jobs' recent health issues might be a factor. Hit the jump for Jobs' letter of resignation and any updates on the decision.
AMD's revenue for the second fiscal quarter of 2011 dipped 5 percent compared to the second quarter in 2010 as the hunt for a permanent CEO continues, the company announced on Thursday. It's been over six months since former chief Dirk Meyer resigned in January after butting heads with the company's board of directors over AMD's mobile strategy. CFO Thomas Seifert has been serving as Interim CEO ever since.
Google announced as part of its fourth quarter earnings that CEO Eric Schmidt will be stepping down as CEO effective April 4. Taking over the reins of the search behemoth will be mild-mannered co-founder Larry Page. Schmidt will not be leaving Google altogether, though. He will be taking on the role of Executive Chairman to focus on "deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership". Google's other co-founder, Sergey Brin, will be taking on a more active role in strategic product development.
This is a big step for Google. Schmidt was brought in when it became evident the company would need a leader with real business experience. He was often called the 'grown-up' asked to keep things in order. Apparently, Google feels that sort of guidance is no longer needed. Some have speculated that Page and Brin pushed for the change in order to move decision making along faster. In fact, that's just what was said in the statement, though no finger were pointed at Schmidt.
We suspect that Brin and Page have been making most of the strategic decisions behind the scenes for a long time now, Schmidt always felt like more of a king PR rep. Someone to talk to investors and give speeches. Now that's going to be his official role. Do you think Google is making the right move?
According to a Reuters source, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer was forced out after concern mounted that he had no vision for AMD's mobile strategy. The board reportedly felt AMD was missing out by not developing technologies for the mobile market. Meyer even voiced his hesitance to invest in mobile publically. In October he told analysts that AMD would hold off on investing in mobile architectures until the market grew larger. This sort of talk clearly did not help his case. As soon as competitor Nvidia blew up CES with Tegra 2 mobile chips, Meyer was gone.
The source said it was Meyer's stubbornness on the issue that lead to the hasty removal. A more flexible CEO might have been able to placate the board more, but Meyer was set on forging ahead with Netbooks and other x86 chips. With ARM-based mobile devices from Apple and Google taking over mobile computing for millions, it is no surprise the AMD board was nervous about Meyer's direction.
Only time will tell if this move was right or not. AMD took quite a stock price hit, and this has sparked concerns that the chip-maker could be on the decline. Do you think AMD can put together a competitive mobile strategy, or did they miss the boat?
Perennially beleaguered chip maker AMD announced Monday that Dirk Meyer is no longer the company’s CEO. Until it finds a permanent replacement, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert will serve as the firm’s acting CEO. The abruptness of Meyer’s resignation has left a lot of room for speculation. AMD’s perfunctorily terse explanation hasn’t helped either. Meyer’s resignation was the result of a mutual agreement between the board and the former CEO was all that the company was willing to say.
"Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GlobalFoundries, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market,” said AMD chairman Bruce Claflin about the former CEO’s accomplishments.
"However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives."
Speculation is rife that Meyer’s failure to gauge the growing importance of the mobile market could have been a major reason for his ouster. Under Meyer, AMD adamantly refused to shed its inexplicable apathy towards increasingly important device segments like netbooks, smartphones and, most recently, tablets.
It was just last month that Dick Costolo took over as CEO of Twitter. He;s only given one major interview since then, but managed to flat out say that Twitter doesn't have a 'clear long term vision'. Twitter has changed dramatically since it began. The service started as an SMS-based service, hence the 140 character limit. It has since expanded in so many ways with link shortening and smartphone apps.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has also said that Twitter is hard to define because its users have defined it so much over the last few years. We can certainly appreciate that. Ideas like retweets and replies were invented by users before being integrated with the platform. Maybe another use for Twitter will be developed by the users that changes the purpose of the service yet again.
Do you think Twitter is destined to be a vastly different product in the future, or is this it?
Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia, recently announced plans to leave the company within six months, but don't expect him to do it quietly. Speaking to the Financial Times, Vanjoki revealed why Nokia won't switch from Symbian to Android.
Doing so, he said, is no different than the Finnish boys who "pee in their pants" to stay warm during the cold winter months. That bears repeating. Smartphone makers who use Android are doing the equivalent of pissing their pants to stay warm.
We'll have to dig through the archives, but Anssi Vanjoki may have just topped Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who once promised to open a can of whoop ass on the competition, as the most outspoken, uncensored executive in the tech industry.
We could offer some more commentary, but quite frankly, trying to follow a quote like that is like pissing in the wind.
Nokia's search for a new CEO is over. The company found its replacement in Stephen Elop, a 46-year-old Canadian citizen and former President of Microsoft's Business Division, the same unit that's in charge of the Microsoft Office suite.
Elop took the Microsoft position in January 2008, and prior to that he served as CEO for network infrastructure company Juniper Networks. Now he's tasked with restoring Nokia back to relevance in the smartphone market.
"I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers," Elop said in Nokia's statement. "Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services."
Elop can certainly talk the talk, but walking the walk won't be easy. Restoring the company's smartphone business isn't just about the hardware, Elop also has to figure out how to make the Ovi Store more competitive with the Android Market and Apple's App Store, and turn Symbian into a viable smartphone OS.
The PC Industry isn’t one typically laced with sex, drugs and alcohol, but at least one of these allegations cropped up against the recently departed HP CEO Mark Hurd. According to sources inside the company sexual harassment allegations were leveled by a former HP marketing contractor, and while these were never proven to be true, outside counsel found him guilty of multiple violations of their Standards of Business Conduct. The specific violations relate to irregularities in his expense reports, and while the exact amount is unknown, HP claims they view it as an “integrity” issue rather than an issue of lost dollars.
A press release issued by the company has named CFO Cathie Lesjak as the interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement, and her first official duty was to face the media late Friday afternoon. During the question and answer period it was revealed that the female contractor in question above was paid for services that upon review, may not have been provided as billed.
Engadget asked point blank if Jon Rubinstein would be considered for the CEO position, and while they had no official comment, he would certainly be an interesting and high profile choice. HP claims the removal of Hurd had nothing to do with the financial performance of HP, and the media call was simply to try and calm the fears of investors. HP stock dipped slightly after the news dropped, but has since settled up about $0.75 in afterhours trading.