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Cypress Promotes Executive to CEO Position

Hassane El-Khoury has spent nine years with the company and was a key figure in integrating Spansion and Broadcom's IoT unit after acquisitions.

Cyprss CEO

Cypress Semiconductor officials stayed in-house to find a new CEO to replace T.J. Rodgers, who stepped down in April after 34 years of leading the company he founded.

The naming of Hassane El-Khoury as president and CEO is the latest change at Cypress, which has been repositioning itself to be a larger player in a broad range of embedded systems markets—such as automotive and industrial, as well as in the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) space—in large part through its acquisitions of Spansion and, more recently, Broadcom's IoT business.

Cypress officials noted the integral role El-Khoury—a 9-year veteran at the company—played in helping to integrate Spansion and the Broadcom business into Cypress' operations. El-Khoury most recently had been executive vice president of Cypress' Programmable Systems Division and its software unit, and previously had run the company's automotive business unit.

El-Khoury in a statement said that the company now finds itself "at an inflection point."

"We've architected our company to become more valuable to our embedded-systems customers, significantly expanding our portfolio of high-value solutions in growth markets such as automotive, industrial, consumer electronics and the IoT," he said.

Ray Bingham, Cypress' board chairman and executive chairman, said in a statement that El-Khoury was the "clear executive leader to deliver on Cypress' enormous potential and unlock its value for customers and investors. … He is an agent of change who brings to this position an extensive knowledge of our target markets and a mindset focused on customer value and profitable growth."

Cypress' recent acquisitions add to a growing list of moves in a consolidating semiconductor market as vendors look to build out their portfolios to address such emerging markets as the IoT, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cloud computing and mobility. For example, Broadcom was bought by Avago Technologies for $37 billion (which adopted the Broadcom name), NXP bought Freescale Semiconductors for $12 billion, and Intel bought Altera and its field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technologies for $16.7 billion.

Cypress' $550 million acquisition earlier this year of Broadcom's IoT business included products in such areas as WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee as well as the WICED (Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices) platform that OEMs can use to build IoT and wearable devices. Cypress also inherited a WICED—pronounced "wicked"—software development kit.