National Semi's CEO Halla to Retire

National Semiconductor on Friday said that CEO Brian Halla will step down from the position, with the reigns being handed over to the current president and chief operating officer.

Donald Macleod will assume the role of CEO starting on Nov. 30, when Halla will retire. Halla will remain National Semiconductor's executive chairman. Macleod was appointed the company's president and COO in 2005.

Halla said he'd stay through the "rainy season to make sure there are no leaks in the roof" before retiring from the board of directors in May next year, when the company's fiscal year ends.

The "rainy season" may refer to recent struggles at the company. National Semiconductor saw its sales drop in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The company's sales were US$314 million, lower than sales of $466 million reported in last year's first quarter. The company reported net income of $29.8 million, or $0.13 cents per share for the quarter ended Aug. 30, compared to $0.33 per share in last year's first quarter.

Based in Santa Clara, California, National Semiconductor makes integrated circuits, including power management products. At one time the company dabbled in the CPU business when it purchased the assets of Cyrix from Via Technologies in 1999. National Semiconductor added the x86-based Geode processor core for embedded products, which was ultimately purchased by AMD in 2003. Those chips, as sold by AMD, were used in products like One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop.

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