CEO changes join Renesas restructuring

In the face of a sales slump, Renesas Technology plans to close fab lines and attempt to focus on its microcontroller business.

Renesas said its results for financial year 2008, which ends March 31, 2009, will see a 28 per cent drop in sales from 2007 to 680bn yen (£5.3bn), incurring a loss 206bn yen. At the same time, the company has made a number of changes to its management in Japan and its foreign offices.

Current chairman and CEO Saturo Ito will retire and the company will now have a chairman and president instead of the former roles of chairman and CEO and president and COO. Katsuhiro Tsukamoto will become chairman and Yasushi Akao will take over as president.

In Europe, CEO Matthew Trowbridge will become chairman as the former head of automotive for Renesas in Europe Tsutomu Miki assumes the CEO position.

To cut costs, Renesas will close a number of factories to concentrate production on larger wafers, reduce the number of temporary workers it employs as well as design subcontractors.

Fabs running 5in wafers at the company’s Kofu and Takasaki sites will be shut down, with their production moved to 6in lines. The 8in lines at Kofu will be expanded to take care of a migration from other sites’ 6in fabs, such as Tsugaru, where a number of 6in lines will be shut down.

At the Kochi Site, a manufacturing centre for microcontrollers and mixed signal devices using 6-inch lines, the operations of the second floor are being consolidated into the first floor production lines.

Beginning in April, staff from a variety of business units will be redeployed to work on microcontrollers. The company is also extending an early retirement plan for workers.

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