ARM chief executive explains his exit

Warren East wants to make room for new leadership, says IT industry needs collaborative approach

WASHINGTON -- ARM Holdings has done well under CEO Warren East and there was no obvious reason for him to step aside. But by July 1, the new CEO, fellow ARM veteran Simon Segars, will be the new chief executive.

East, 52, announced in March that he was stepping down.

"I hope that's the right thing for me to do at the moment," said East, at Monday's CW Honors program , where he spoke. "I've look upon it as a bit like pruning a fruit tree and that allows the whole plant to get stronger."

The metaphor is simple. East says it's time to prep ARM'S next leaders, who will be ready for the years ahead -- 2020, 2030 and beyond. "That means nurturing the next generation," he said.

ARM licenses its chip technology to semiconductor makers and has seen growing licensing revenue as its low power chips proliferate in mobile markets.

East, who received the Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce at Monday's event, said ARM's collaborative approach "is an absolutely mandatory direction, I think, for the whole technology industry, adding "it's far too big a task for one business on its own now."

The technology industry "has a much wider role than simply making better computers, perhaps even more money," East said. ARM's focus on making energy consumption more efficient is a much more satisfying goal, he said. "Making the world a better place is absolutely crucial. You can't inspire people with goals that you express as billions of dollars."

Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

See more by Patrick Thibodeau on Computerworld.com.

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