Motorola taps Big Blue talent for chip biz

My Michel

Motorola has pinched former IBM executive Michel Mayer to head its Freescale Semiconductor operation. Mayer, the former general manager of IBM Microelectronics, has been tapped as Freescale's chairman and CEO. Freescale is a Motorola chip-making subsidiary that is expected to become a publicly traded company later this year.

"After an extensive, global search, we believe that Michel Mayer has a unique combination of operational experience, leadership skills, customer focus and technical expertise to make him the ideal choice to lead Freescale Semiconductor as an independent entity," said Ed Zander, CEO at Motorola. "Michel is widely known and highly regarded in the industry among customers and peers around the world, and his appointment reinforces Freescale's global focus."

It's comforting, in a way, to see Motorola nab a 20-year IBM veteran such as Mayer. It shows the company has grown a lot since since it sued AMD's CEO and former Motorola exec Hector Ruiz for poaching in-house talent.

Life could be a bit better for Mayer at Freescale than over at Big Blue. IBM's chip business has been struggling as a result of disappointing yields and high fab costs. Freescale, by contrast, saw its first quarter income jump more than fourfold to $107m on revenue of $1.4bn. ®

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