Micron Technology, Inc. : Elpida President to Quit After Micron Takeover
08/21/2012| 01:55pm US/Eastern
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Yukio Sakamoto has decided to step down as president of Elpida Memory Inc. to take responsibility for the company's fall once its takeover by U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. (MU) is complete, The Nikkei reported Wednesday morning.
The major Japanese DRAM manufacturer filed for court protection from creditors under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law this February. To speed the turnaround process, the court has allowed the use of debtor-in-possession rehabilitation, under which some members of management stay on and oversee the process.
As a result, Sakamoto has taken part in the creation of the rehabilitation blueprint for Elpida as an administrator. Some creditors have called this out as inappropriate.
Sakamoto serving as an administrator "muddies the responsibility for a business going under with 440 billion yen in liabilities," one critic said.
Micron is to turn Elpida into a wholly owned subsidiary next spring. Court approval of the rehabilitation road map submitted Tuesday by Elpida will move the process toward that eventuality. Sakamoto will likely resign after the capital injection by Micron in order to pass the baton for Elpida's turnaround to a fresh management team.
Sakamoto became Elpida's president in 2002 after stints at U.S. and Taiwanese chipmakers. The company boosted its global market share under his lead but has been unable to recover from the post-Lehman business slump.
Micron plans to make a member of Elpida's management a Micron director as a way of smoothly integrating the two firms' DRAM operations. The U.S. chipmaker had sounded out Sakamoto to be that person. With Sakamoto resigning, Micron will likely select a new president from within Elpida or its own ranks.