CEO Shuffle at Rambus

Computer memory manufacturer Rambus shuffled its
top executives Tuesday to accommodate the departure of Chairman Bill
Davidow.

The Los Altos, Calif.-based firm said CEO Geoff Tate will replace
Davidow, who is expected to remain on Rambus’ board of directors. The
company makes chip interface products and services, including its own
version of dynamic random access memory known as RDRAM .

Stepping up to replace Tate as CEO is Harold Hughes, a current member
of the Rambus board who recently served as chairman and CEO of Pandesic,
an Intel and SAP joint venture. Hughes spent 23 years at Intel including
serving as treasurer, the head of the Intel Capital division, CFO
and the head of Planning and Logistics.

“The company is uniquely positioned to solve some of the most
demanding challenges faced by our semiconductor and system customers,”
Hughes said in a statement. “I am extremely excited about our future
prospects and look forward to leading this tremendously talented and
committed team.”

Hughes adopts a company with its fair share of successes and
setbacks. While Rambus has found a hit with its XDR memory bus
technology for the widely used double data rate memory (DDR1) and the
next-generation version DDR2 , the company has been mired
in patent lawsuits and other litigation.

Last week, a U.S. federal judge in New York cleared the way for
Rambus to proceed with its patent lawsuit against Korea’s Hynix
Semiconductor.

The suit originates from an ongoing investigation into synchronous
memory patents Rambus obtained during its membership on the Joint
Electron Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC), a non-profit organization
that promotes technological standards.

Rambus filed a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit in May 2004 against four
of its competitors, including Hynix. Rambus accused each of price fixing
and conspiracy to drive its RDRAM technology out of the market. Micron
Technology , Infineon Technologies and
Siemens were also named in the suit.

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