The Man Who Put An ARM Chip Inside Every Smartphone Is Moving On


Warren East, who has spent the last 12 years as CEO of ARM, has announced that he will retire on July 1. During his time in charge, East has overseen ARM’s processor design powerhouse through some of its most explosive growth, thanks to lucrative deals with companies like Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm.

East, who first joined ARM in 1994, plans continue to work in the technology industry, he said during a conference call today. But he will be succeeded at ARM by President Simon Segars, 45, who joined the Cambridge, England-based company in 1991.

East helped transform ARM into a chip designer, addressing the growing demand for chips for mobile phones and tablets. The company has already beaten Intel in the mobile space, and it’s now expanding into other areas, including appliances and cars, as the trend for connected devices continues to grow.

“We’ve built a truly world-leading technology company, and it’s turned into a global phenomenon,” East said during this morning’s call. “Now is the right time to bring in new leadership to push thinking even further forward.”

ARM’s share price suffered a rare decline by as much as 2.4% to £8.98 following East’s announcement. Over the past year, however, ARM stock has advanced 20%, giving the company a market value of £12.9 billion ($19 billion).

East will celebrate 22 years with ARM next week, having spent time in engineering, sales, and management in previous roles. During his time at the top, annual sales have expanded to £577 million ($842 million) last year from £146 million ($220 million) in 2001, with operating profit rising to £262 million ($395 million) from £46 million ($69.5 million).

East will be missed by ARM, then, but Segars has vowed to “continue with what Warren built and continue to work closely with partners and customers.”