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Ralph Schmitt Appointed As New CEO, President of OCZ

San Jose-based OCZ Technology Group, a leading manufacturer of SSDs, said on Wednesday that its board of directors has appointed Ralph Schmitt as the company's new president and CEO, effective immediately.

Schmitt signed on with the company's board of directors back in April 2011. Up until Tuesday, he also served as president and CEO of PLX Technologies, Inc., a provider of semiconductor-based connectivity solutions primarily targeting the enterprise and consumer markets. He took the reins of PLX Technologies back in 2008, and still resides on its board of directors as well as the board of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).

Schmitt holds a B.S.E.E. from Rutgers University and started his career as a storage system designer. He was executive vice president of sales, marketing, and business development for Cypress Semiconductor from 1999 to 2005. Then from 2005 to 2008, he took on the role of CEO at Sipex, an analog semiconductor company that merged with Exar in 2007, where he was appointed CEO.

Finally in 2008, Schmitt acted as CEO of Legend Silicon, a privately funded Chinese terrestrial digital TV semiconductor company. Through the years he has also served on private and public boards ranging from semiconductor, to solar and systems companies.

"I am excited and honored to have been asked to lead OCZ, and look forward to working with the Company’s talented, dedicated employees to deliver leading solid state solutions," Schmitt said. "Innovation, quality and profitability will be the principles that drive the Company going forward. We will overcome some near term tactical challenges, and we will focus relentlessly on increased value to both our investors and customers. We have an amazing opportunity in front of us and we will take full advantage of our position, products and people to be successful."

“Ralph's knowledge of OCZ's business, customers, and target markets along with his extensive management experience and technical expertise make him the ideal person to lead OCZ through the next phase of its development," added Adam Epstein, OCZ’s lead independent director.

Former CEO Ryan Peterson stepped down from his position just a few weeks ago. The official reason behind is departure is unknown, but there's speculation that he was forced to resign by the board of directors due to the company's reportedly poor financial performance.