Elpida chief Sakamoto to step down

JIJI

Elpida Memory Inc. President Yukio Sakamoto plans to resign when the failed chipmaker becomes a wholly owned unit of U.S. peer Micron Technology Inc. next spring for business rehabilitation, sources said Wednesday.

Micron Technology is now discussing whether Sakamoto’s successor should be chosen from within the U.S. company or from Elpida, sources said.

Elpida successfully expanded its market share after Sakamoto, 64, took the helm in November 2002, but its business deteriorated due to the global economic downturn in September 2008. Elpida filed for bankruptcy protection last February.

When a so-called debtor-in-possession method was adopted for Elpida’s rehabilitation, Sakamoto was allowed to stay on and to also serve as a bankruptcy trustee to help it work out a turnaround program.

The rehabilitation program, featuring financial assistance totaling ¥200 billion from Micron Technology, was submitted to the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Elpida’s creditors have demanded that management’s responsibility for the bankruptcy be clarified.