Seventeen months to the day after being named the chief executive - and wished for savior - of Silicon Graphics, Richard Belluzzo has abandoned the ship.
Just 10 days after he announced a sweeping reorganisation that would cost 1,500 jobs at SGI, Belluzzo has - according to a terse company statement - "resigned to accept another position in a business that is not competitive with SGI."
Even at a conference call held late on Monday, the company declined to say where Belluzzo was going it but did elaborate that it was a non chief executive position. Industry reports say it is in fact Microsoft's Internet division Belluzzo is joining.
Within hours of learning of Belluzzo's resignation, SGI named an existing board member, Robert Bishop, to the posts of chief executive and chairman.
Bishop had worked at SGI until 1995 when he settled into a position on the company board. Bishop joined SGI in 1986 and was responsible for building its international division. He joined SGI's board of directors in 1993.
His long computer industry career saw him hold management positions at Apollo Computer and DEC. Explaining on the conference call why he took the SGI chief executive job, Bishop said: "I chose the job because it's probably the most exciting challenge I've ever been faced with. I feel like I've trained for 35 years in preparation for it."
Belluzzo took over from Ed McCracken on January 23, 1998. He arrived from Hewlett-Packard where he was second in command to Lew Platt and thought by many to be the heir apparent.
On his arrival at SGI he vowed to make the company once gain profitable, which he did in the most recent quarter. However developing a sustainable long term business plan proved more elusive that he thought it would.
The latest strategy is to spin off units, such as Cray, and move away from Windows towards Linux.
There won't be any further immediate changes under Bishop. Bishop said the company's latest turnaround would focus on high performance servers, visual computing products and broadband Internet computing products, with a heavy focus on joint development and partnerships, to ease development costs.
"Having participated in the formation of our new strategy, I am fully committed to the next phase in SGI's transformation that positions the company for sustained growth and profitability. I have enormous faith in the talented people, depth of technology and customer loyalty resident at SGI," he said in a prepared statement.
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