ARM Holdings, the Cambridge-based chip designer, surprised investors yesterday by announcing the departure of its highly regarded finance director Jonathan Brooks.
Mr Brooks, who has been with ARM for seven years, will stay on at the company until the end of February when he will hand over to Tim Score, who is currently finance director of Rebus Group, a privately-owned software and services firm.
Robin Saxby, ARM's chairman, said there was nothing sinister in the move and felt it was important to have a good mix of both "new and old" on the board. "Life goes on. You have to look to the future and not the past. We've had a fantastic journey from A to B but we really want to get from B to C and I think we need some new blood and some new energy," he said. Nevertheless, shares in ARM closed down 4 per cent at 358.5p.
While Mr Brooks was unavailable for comment, he is said to be leaving because he "wants a change" although has no firm plans for the future as yet.
Describing Mr Brooks as a "great friend", Mr Saxby likened the board reshuffle to managing a football team. "I'm feeling a bit like Alex Ferguson. You've always got to bring new players in to keep winning the matches."