Arm chief hands over reins after 12 years of growth

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The leader of the company that designs microchips to power Apple iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy handset is stepping down after 12 years in the job.

Warren East, 51, hands over the reins of Arm Holdings in July to another long server, Simon Segars, who has spent 22 years at the company and holds the post of president after running engineering and sales.

“It has been a privilege to lead ARM during such a momentous and exciting time for our industry,” said East, whose chip designs are found in 99% of all mobile phones.

“We take a very long-term view about our business, and we believe that now is the right time to bring in new leadership, to execute on the next phase of growth and to plan even further into the future.”

East’s tenure has seen a fourfold increase in revenues and a 1700 increase in headcount, with the number of chips based on Arm technology shipped annually rising from 420 million to 8.7 billion.

The Cambridge company has begun developing microprocessors for the world beyond smartphones, such as energy-efficient chips for corporate computer systems. It is an area dominated by Intel, the world’s largest chip company, which has invaded Arm’s mobile space.

East, an unassuming boss who plays the church organ on Sundays, joined Arm in 1994 from Texas Instruments to set up its consulting business. The company had been founded four years earlier when it was spun out of a collaboration between Acorn Computers and Apple to develop a new computer system. He became chief executive  in 2001.

Shares in Arm, which have recently been trading close to highs not seen since the technology boom of more than a decade ago, dipped on the news, down 2.9% at 894p.