ARM announced today that Warren East, the CEO, would be retiring at the end of June. The new CEO will be Simon Segars, currently President of ARM and the de facto #2 guy. Currently Simon is based in the US and I don’t know if he plans to return to Britain or not. But he will live what will inevitably be a lifestyle that involves crossing the Atlantic a lot, no matter which side he picks.
It is interesting that ARM will have a new CEO this year since their big rival in the microprocessor business, Intel, will also have one. Intel announced that Otellini will be stepping down in May, but they have a search going on for the successor.
I installed the design tools used to design the first ARM processor, inside Acorn Computer. I was there when ARM was spun out of Acorn since VLSI Technology provided all the design tools ARM would need for an equity stake. I know many people who do or have worked there. At VLSI for a year or two I was responsible for our relationship with ARM and for renegotiating our licenses. So I inevitably follow ARM a bit more closely than any other company. It is clear that Simon is a “safe pair of hands”. ARM is in great shape right now so this is not a CEO change where a major course correction is expected (at least not by me). During Warren’s tenure as CEO, ARM’s partners shipped 40 billion ARM microprocessors. But ARM ships around 8B per year now, so that number will not take long to be exceeded on Simon’s watch.