RealTime IT News

CEO Powers Down at Graphics Chipmaker

Graphics chipmaker ATI Wednesday said company chairman and CEO K.Y. Ho is shedding his executive title and will step aside on June 1.

Dave Orton, currently ATI's President and COO, will become CEO at that time. A statement issued by the company said the move is a natural succession, planned when Orton joined ATI in 2000. The executive reshuffling is "not expected to effect any changes to ATI's management structure." Ho said he would remain as chairman and continue to focus on ATI's strategic business relationships.

"ATI has never been stronger than it is today," Ho said in a statement. "It is now time for me to focus on the chairman role, particularly with regards to our strategic customer and supplier relationships. To a large extent, this announcement merely formalizes the existing situation. Dave has done a great job spearheading the success ATI enjoys today."

Markham, Ontario-based ATI regularly jousts with NVIDIA for leadership in the graphics processor marketplace. In addition to their usual battles for desktop and notebook platforms, workstation, set-top boxes and digital televisions, the rivals also compete in the gaming console marketplace. Recently, it's been ATI out in front as the company inked a deal with Microsoft , supplanting NVIDIA as the graphics chipmaker that powers the Xbox.

ATI was very successful under Ho. The company made $1 million in sales in its first year and more than $100 million by 1992. However, Ho and six other people linked to the company were accused of insider trading. The Ontario Securities Commission is expected to begin its hearing proceedings later this fall.

In unrelated news, ATI said CFO Terry Nickerson announced his retirement from the company as soon as a replacement has been found. The company said Nickerson is approaching his 65th birthday and will be helping in the search process and supporting the handover. Nickerson is expected to stick around in a consulting and advisory role.

For its second fiscal quarter reported Wednesday, ATI posted a net income of $47.6 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $9.4 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier. The company also said its revenue for the last three months soared 48 percent to $463.3 million, topping the highest estimate of $460 million.