Novellus CFO quits as shares hit 52-week low

William Kurtz quit Friday as chief financial officer at Novellus Systems the same day its
shares hit a 52-week low. The news didn’t rate a press release   or a single line of explanationin the SEC filing the company made late Friday to announce the development, perhaps hoping it would pass little noticed.  We were wrong.  Novellus put out a press release on Dec. 17 reporting that Kurtz would be joining a “venture-backed company” on March 1)

Novellus shares lost 20 percent of their value last year and are down another 20 percent after two months of 2008. None of Kurtz’s stock option awards are in the money and the restricted stock he got when he started Sept. 1, 2005, is worth 5 percent less now.

And the immediate future is not looking bright for the companies like Novellus that make
equipment used to manufacture semiconductors. The company said in January that orders this quarter may fall as much as 15 percent.


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