Chief executive exits from profit-less ARC

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The Independent Online

Mike Gulett, the chief executive of ARC International, walked out of the microchip designer with a $275,000 pay-off yesterday after failing to improve the fortunes of the struggling technology business.

The company said Mr Gulett would not be eligible for any bonus or other payments on top of the pay-off, which is equal to one year's salary.

Mr Gulett said: "After two years of hard work here at ARC it is time to make a change. I am leaving with mixed feelings but I have confidence in the new board of directors and ARC's management team and employees."

ARC floated at the height of the boom in September 2000 but its shares crashed shortly after and the company has never made a profit.

It now looks like a clear takeover target, according to analysts, having been linked last year to a possible bid from Arm Holdings. Other potential bidders include Synopsys and Cadence, both of the United States. It could also be bought out by management.

One attraction is that ARC still has cash on its balance sheet equal to about 26p a share, compared with last night's close of 16p. The shares hit 429.5p shortly after the float.

Peter van Cuylenburg, the chairman, will take over from Mr Gulett as interim chief executive while the company searches for a full-time replacement. It hopes to find a chief executive by February when it plans to update investors on strategy.