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Atmel fires CEO, three others over misuse of travel funds

Posted: 09 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel? XX? XX? XX? XX?

Amid a stock-option probe and other issues, Atmel Corp. disclosed that it has fired George Perlegos, its president and chief executive, and three others over alleged misuse of corporate travel funds.

Atmel named Steven Laub, currently a director, as the company's president and CEO, effective immediately.

Laub's appointment follows the unanimous decision of the board's independent directors to terminate George Perlegos and Gust Perlegos, executive vice president, office of the president. Also fired were the vice president and general counsel and assistant secretary, as well as the vice president of planning and information technology. The names of those individuals were not disclosed.

"The board's decision was made following an independent investigation into allegations regarding the misuse of corporate travel funds," according to the chip maker. "Messrs. George Perlegos and Gust Perlegos have been asked to resign as directors of the company."

Laub has served as a director of Atmel since Feb. 10, 2006. He most recently was a technology partner at Golden Gate Capital Corp., a private equity buyout firm, and the executive chairman of Teridian Semiconductor Corp., a fabless semiconductor company. From 2004 to 2005, Laub was president and CEO of Silicon Image Inc.

This represents the latest in a string of problems for Atmel. The company stated that Monday's announcement is unrelated to its recent disclosure regarding a stock-option probe. As reported last month Atmel is conducting an investigation regarding the timing of past stock option grants and other potentially related issues.

The board's investigation is ongoing and the company does not expect the investigation to be completed prior to the due date for the company's second-quarter Form 10-Q, August 9, or the extended due date of August 14. Atmel executives will refrain from commenting further on this matter until the independent investigation is concluded.

Seeking to cut costs, Atmel last month said that it has signed an agreement to sell its Grenoble, France subsidiary and the wafer fab to e2v technologies plc for approximately $140 million in cash.

The move is said to enable struggling Atmel to cut costs. In recent times, Atmel invested in too much fab capacity, causing in part a string of financial losses.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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