SanDisk Cofounder Joins Micron As President And CEO

Micron has appointed Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder of SanDisk, as its new President and CEO. Sanjay steps into the role to replace Mark Durcan, who announced his retirement at Micron's 2017 Analyst Conference.

At the time, Durcan indicated that he would continue to lead Micron and assist the company in the search for his replacement, and he will continue to serve as an advisor until early August. Durcan's 32-year tenure at Micron was marked by several successes as the company weathered the tumultuous early years of the DRAM market and helped bring NAND technology to the mainstream market. Durcan originally announced his retirement five years ago but assumed the CEO position after the passing of Micron's former CEO Steve Appleton.

Sanjay Mehrotra appears to be a natural fit for Micron. He co-founded SanDisk in 1988 and led the company until WD purchased it for $19 billion in early 2015. Mehrotra joined WD's board after the acquisition to help lead the integration of the two companies but stepped down in February 2017.

Mehrotra led SanDisk through several strategic acquisitions, including SMART Storage Systems, Fusion-io, Schooner, and FlashSoft, that helped transform the company from a component supplier to a systems provider. System-level products, such as SanDisk's InfiniFlash All-Flash arrays, opened up new growth avenues for the company. That experience will likely come into play with Micron's nascent systems initiative, which came to light when the company announced new storage systems with a range of partners last year.

Mehrotra is also familiar with fab partnerships. He helped establish SanDisk's 17-year joint venture partnership with Toshiba for NAND manufacturing. Micron's IMFT partnership with Intel also finds two companies cooperating on manufacturing but competing in the open market.

Micron's board doesn't plan for any radical changes to its existing strategies, but it is possible that Mehrotra could bring in new talent to bolster Micron's ranks. Interestingly, this possibility made its way into WD's earnings call yesterday, in which the company stated that it would, as always, do its best to ensure that its employees remain with the company.

Mehrotra, like his predecessor, has a strong engineering background. He obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds 70 patents in non-volatile memory design and flash memory systems. Mehrotra will officially take Micron's helm on May 8 and will work from both Micron's Milpitas, California, and Boise, Idaho offices.

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