Investors give new Freescale CEO a warm welcome

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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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Martha DeGrasse

Editor, Wireless Infrastructure
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Martha DeGrasse is an editor at RCR Wireless News, and is the creator of the RCR Mobile Minute. Martha has been with RCR Wireless News since 2011. Her current focus areas are wireless infrastructure and heterogeneous networks. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her at Twitter @mdegrasseRCR