Cirrus Logic CRUS (NASDAQ) announced the appointment of current vice president and general manager of Cirrus' mixed signal audio product line, Jason Rhode as the company's new CEO. The position became vacate in March after David French the company's CEO since 1999 resigned. French resigned following an internal investigation of options backdating that ensnared Cirrus like so many other tech firms. The company has said it will need to restate financial results dating back to 2001, and it expects to record $22 million to $24 million in additional stock option expenses.
After French resigned, the company founder and current chairman of the board, Michael L. Hackworth, took over as acting CEO and president. In its press release today announcing the selection of Jason Rhode as the new CEO, the Chairman Michael Hackworth stated, "we interviewed numerous external candidates for this position, but in the end the board of directors felt that Cirrus Logic is fortunate to have a number of strong leaders within the company," ..."Jason... possesses the vision, energy and commitment to drive the company into a new era of growth, built around the company's solid foundation as a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors." My take on the appointment is somewhat different and far more skeptical. Cirrus most likely had difficulty finding a qualified candidate from outside the firm to take on the challenge of running Cirrus.
Rhode is only 37 years of age and has never had top-level executive experience. He is an expert in his field with numerous patents to his name and a PhD in electrical engineering. He will most likely need time to come up to speed in his new executive duties. Whether he will be able to lead the firm to new heights and profits remains to be seen.