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.

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