Lam Research Corp. CEO Martin Anstice resigned on Wednesday for alleged misconduct. The fourth chief executive of a large chip company that had stepped out of such an investigation this year.
one of the world's largest manufacturers of chip equipment, said that an investigation by the board and an outside law firm is continuing for alleged workplace misconduct. The company has resigned and will not receive termination benefits, Lam said in his announcement.
"Lam Research takes all allegations of misconduct seriously," said leading independent director Abhi Talwalkar in the press release.
Anstice is the fourth chief executive of a major semiconductor company that has left its company under largely unexplained allegations of impropriety this year. Intel Corp.
Brian Krzanich, Chief Executive Officer, left the company in June after Intel's board of directors learned of an inappropriate relationship he had with a colleague. One week later, Rambus Inc.
CEO Ron Black was dismissed for violating the company's Code of Conduct and Texas Instruments Inc.
CEO Brian Crutcher resigned in July for a similar violation.
Comment: The Old Boys Club of the Chip Industry May Seem Its # MeToo Moment
The departures coincided with the rise of the "Me Too" movement, which exposed some male executives. Mistreatment of female employees. The chip sector is one of the oldest in the tech- nology and is considered extremely male-dominated.
Intel, for example, employed 73.5% male employees in 2017, which is actually an improvement of 76% the previous year, as Krzanich made it a stated point to try to have a predominantly male and white workforce switch. Companies are not required to disclose the demographic makeup of their workforce, although the information is reported to the federal government each year, but chip companies that report it show a large majority of male employees – Nvidia Corp.
reported that in 2018 81% were male employees.
A spokeswoman for Lam Research said on Wednesday afternoon that she had nothing to add except the press release, which was vague about the allegations, but seemed to be more of a problem than just the boss's point of view as "allegation of misconduct Workplace "and behavior contradict the core values of the company, including allegations of Mr. Anstice. "The company said none of the allegations involved financial misconduct and reiterated its guidance for the quarter.
Anstice replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Officer Tim Archer, who has been COO since 2012 and the top since taking office in January EverJust ISI analyst CJ Muse said Lams plans to replace Anstice with Archer should lead to a slight transition and minor change in Lam's direction.
"We've known Tim for more than a decade ( this occurred at the Novellus acquisition in 2012 (he joined in 1994), and we expect him to be a great fit and seamlessly transition into the CEO role, and the company should not miss a beat under his leadership, " wrote Muse, which has an outperformance rating and a target price of $ 185 The Share.
Lam has a market capitalization of more than $ 23 billion, however, had difficulties this year as concerns about a slowdown in the semiconductor sector began, starting with chip equipment manufacturers. Lam posted strong results in October and fueled some fears, but a lot is moving in the current quarter and months ahead.
"We believe that Lam enters a new cycle in the December period," instinct analyst Romit Shah wrote in a October report after Lams latest earnings report. "Whether the recovery is U-shaped or V-shaped is unclear, but implied broadcasts in C3Q suggest Lam will not reduce numbers that soon."
Opinion: The slowdown of the chips is real, but how bad will it be?
Lam shares have fallen 18.7% so far this year, as the S & P 500 Index
has gained 1%. Analysts are largely bullish. 14 out of 22 analysts have found that FactSet of the stock calls the equivalent of buy and the rest a "hold". The stock's average price target is $ 195.65, more than 30% higher than current prices.
Get the best tech stories of the day delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Tech Daily newsletter. Sign up here.