Marvell Technology co-founders ousted

Marvell Technology Group’s Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai, the husband and wife who co-founded the company more than two decades ago, are out as CEO and president, respectively.

The shakeup comes as the chip company, whose U.S. headquarters are in Santa Clara, faces a federal investigation into its accounting practices, and amid pressure from an activist investor. Marvell said Tuesday that the couple will remain on the board.

Shares of Marvell are up more than 12 percent, to $10,78, on the news.

Marvell acknowledged last month that an internal investigation had found accounting problems. At the time, the company said “a tone at the top” pressured staff to meet financial targets, and that there were problems with the timing of recognizing revenue.

“The Board would like to thank Sehat and Weili for their enormous contributions and service since they founded Marvell in 1995,” the company said in its news release today. “However, the Board believes that the time has come to move in a new leadership direction.”

The company is looking for a new CEO and president, it said. A search for chief financial officer had been announced previously.

Marvell also said today it is “working diligently” to file its annual report and two quarterly reports.

In February, activist hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed in a filing that it had taken a 6.7 percent stake in Marvell. Starboard reportedly wants the company to cut costs and dump its mobile-wireless business.

Sutardja and his brother, Pantas Sutardja, who also co-founded the company, are among Marvell’s biggest shareholders, according to Bloomberg. Because of that, removing Sutardja from the board may have been tough, analyst Anand Srinivasan told Bloomberg.

Years ago, the company had to pay millions of dollars in fines related to SEC charges of backdating stock options. Dai, who also was fined, was forced to resign as the company’s chief operating officer but later returned.


Photo: Sehat Sutardja, then chairman, president and CEO of Marvell Technology Group, during a panel discussion at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s “Projections 2010: Leadership California” conference on Sept. 16, 2009. (Silicon Valley Leadership Group/BANG archives)


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  • Dave

    They are repeat offenders and have already come back once, what’s going to stop them this time?