Cypress descends into all out war

June 12, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Ray Bingham stepped down as executive chairman of Cypress Semiconductor
The board of Cypress Semiconductor is at war with its founder, TJ Rodgers, ahead of a vital shareholder vote later this week.

Executive Chairman Ray Bingham, former CEO of Cadence Design Systems and director of ST Microelectronics, has stepped down after a lawsuit accused the company of a conflict of interest. He co-founded venture fund Canyon Bridge, which bought FPGA designer Lattice Semiconductor in November with backing from the Chinese state-owned China Venture Capital Fund.  

The new chairman, Steve Albrecht, former CEO of memory chip maker Spansion, and the newly appointed CEO of Cypress, Hassane El-Khoury, have written to shareholders about the wider row around ‘Cypress 3.0’, the re-invention of the company from a memory maker through an application specific controller maker to a 'fab-lite' solutions company.

TJ Rogers wants more engineers on the board, while the board is proposing more marketing and sector specialists.

"It has been a great privilege to serve as Chairman of Cypress' Board of Directors and most recently Executive Chairman, alongside some of the smartest minds in the business, at such an important time in Cypress' history," said Bingham. "In the last year, we have accomplished a great deal, including removing an underperforming CEO who was no longer right for the company, and appointing a dynamic CEO who I believe will continue to lead the Company upward and implement the successful turnaround driven by the Cypress 3.0 strategy.” He was executive chairman as El-Khoury was appointed as CEO in December last year.  

"On behalf of the full Board, I want to thank Ray for his years of contributions to Cypress," said W. Steve Albrecht, the new Chairman of Cypress. "His extensive experience and deep industry knowledge played an enormous part in the turnaround that started with the removal of TJ Rodgers as CEO and member of the Board and culminated with the appointment of Hassane as the new CEO and his formulation and execution of the Cypress 3.0 strategy."

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