Globalfoundries Begins Search for New CEO Amid $12 Billion Spending Plan

Globalfoundries, a two-year-old chip manufacturing company that spun off from AMD, is looking for a new CEO after Doug Grose left the position.

Globalfoundries, formed in 2009 when Advanced Micro Devices spun off its manufacturing arm, is looking for new leadership.

The company, which is owned primarily by ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Co.), which is operated by the government of Abu Dhabi, announced June 16 that Doug Grose is no longer CEO, and will be replaced on an interim basis by Ajit Manocha, a former Spansion executive who had been an ATIC adviser.

As part of the executive makeover, James Norling, former chairman of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, will be executive chairman of the board of directors. Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC since November 2008, will be vice chairman.

Grose, Globalfoundries' original CEO, will serve as a senior adviser to ATIC and Globalfoundries. COO Chia Song Hwee will remain with the company in that position until August.

Norling said the search for Grose's permanent replacement has already begun.

The executive shakeup comes as Globalfoundries continues its $12 billion spending program, designed to increase the company's manufacturing capabilities. Through May, Globalfoundries had already spent more than $6 billion to buy AMD's manufacturing assets in Dresden, Germany, for $2.1 billion and to acquire Chartered Manufacturing for $3.1 billion.

In addition, Globalfoundries is spending $1 billion to build a new fab in upstate New York.

The company is expecting to spend another $6 billion through 2012 to increase manufacturing capacity in Dresden, Singapore and New York, and with more construction set to begin in Abu Dhabi.

"Globalfoundries, with the continuous support of ATIC, is in the middle of an intense, competitive ramp-up of manufacturing capacity and technology development," Ajami, who will remain CEO of ATIC, said in a statement. "Under this new leadership team, investment in Globalfoundries will double over the next 18 months."

Spinning off Globalfoundries was an important step for AMD, which was looking to take money off its books as it continued its competition against Intel and looked to expand its business. Globalfoundries has inked manufacturing deals with AMD, ARM Holdings-which designs chips for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets-and STMicroelectronics.

"Globalfoundries is just 2 years old, but in that short time, customers have embraced what it represents to the market," Norling said in a statement. "At the same time, customers are asking us for more capacity, faster technology delivery and greater agility. The board intends for this new management team to meet those customer needs while improving operational performance."