Shares of Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) are sharply higher for the second straight day on news that the company has hired a top Texas Instruments (TXN) executive as its new CEO. Gregg Lowe, who has been running TI’s analog chip business, takes the helm immediately at Freescale, allowing current CEO Rich Beyer to proceed with his previously announced plan to retire.
Many industry observers believed that Lowe, 49, was next in line to head Texas Instruments. Lowe has been in charge of TI’s analog chip business since 2001. Before that he headed up the Dallas company’s customized chips business. At TI, he will be replaced by Brian Crutcher, previously head of the company’s embedded processor division.
Bringing in a leader with deep expertise in analog chips clearly makes sense for Freescale, already a leader in supplying silicon for the telecom and automotive industries. In addition, Freescale is one of the semiconductor companies leading the charge to create embedded processors for M2M applications.
Freescale was purchased by a private equity group 6 years ago in a $17.6 billion leveraged buyout. The company offered stock to the public last year in an effort to pay off part of the debt associated with that buyout.
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