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Hedge fund pressures Marvell board reshuffle

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Marvell Technology? hedge fund? Starboard? International Rectifier? Tessera?

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. has recently announced that it will add four men to its board of directors and as part of an agreement with activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP. The company said it has also started to search for a new CEO to replace Sehat Sutardja, the Marvell co-founder who resigned as CEO earlier this month under pressure from Starboard.

Under the terms of the deal, Marvell appointed Peter Feld, managing director of Starboard, Richard Hill and Oleg Khaykin to the board of directors. Hill is a former CEO of both Tessera Technologies and Novellus Systems Corp. and the chair of Tessera. Khaykin is the former CEO of International Rectifier Corp.

Marvell said it would also elect Robert Switz, currently the chair of Micron Technology Inc., to its board of directors.

Starboard, which owns about 6.5% of Marvell, has been agitating for change at the chip firm since it increased its stake in the firm in February.

Sehat Sutardja

Figure 1: Marvell co-founder Sehat Sutardja gave up CEO post

Sutardja remains Marvell's chair. Sutardja's wife and fellow Marvell co-founder, Weili Dai, also remains on the board despite resigning as president earlier this month when Sutardja stepped down.

But as part of the deal with Starboard, Marvell said its board would elect a non-executive chairperson from among the independent members of the board.

Also as part of the deal, Starboard agreed to vote all of its share in favour of Marvell nominees at the 2016 annual meeting of Marvell shareholders, Marvell said.

Marvell said its CEO search would be overseen by the board's nominating and corporate governance committee, which will be chaired by Feld.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Starboard and look forward to working constructively together as Marvell moves forward," said Arturo Krueger, Marvell's lead independent director.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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