Freescale sees importance of MCUs in restructured business
Freescale Semiconductor CEO Gregg Lowe is pushing forward a major restructuring of the loss-making chip firm.
“We conducted a thorough and extensive review of all our businesses, markets and regions during my first three months,” said Lowe.
“Our goal was to identify areas where we can reinforce our strengths to drive top line growth and margin expansion, then reallocate our R&D resources toward those areas of high-value and high-growth,” said Lowe.
The business will be restructured to separate the automotive MCU business from the general microcontroller business which includes metering and medical.
Geoff Lees will run microcontrollers. Lees joined Freescale in 2011 from NXP Semiconductor and previously served as Freescale’s Vice President of the IMM product group.
The automotive MCU business will be run by Bob Conrad who recently joined Freescale from Fairchild Semiconductor where he ran the company’s analogue and low voltage discrete business along with technology development and strategy.
Other businesses include digital networking, analogue and sensors and RF devices, including power amplifiers.
“Our focus on these all product groups will drive the company’s investment and will account for nearly 90% of total research and development spending by 2015,” said the company.
A restructuring of manufacturing operations is underway to improve “efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs”.
The background to these plans is difficult trading conditions which is putting pressure on sales and profits.
Net sales for the third quarter of 2012 were $1.01bn down slightly on the second quarter of 2012 and on the third quarter of last year.
The net loss for the third quarter improved to $24m.
“Revenues and gross margins were well ahead of the performance we experienced in previous semiconductor market downturns, we used $100 million in cash to reduce debt and we began implementing a new strategic framework that we believe will enable us to grow our business and regain market share,” said Lowe.