GlobalFoundries shifts CEO Grose sideways

AMD spin off GlobalFoundries (GloFo) has been playing musical chairs with its senior managers.

CEO Doug Grose has been shifted sideways and will be temporarily replaced with Ajit Manocha.

Grose’s new job will be “senior adviser” and we guess his office will be in the lift.

Manocha will hold the job while GlobalFoundaries looks for a new CEO.

The outfit has hired a new executive chairman for its board. James Norling is one of the refugees from Chartered Semiconductor which GloFo bought for $3.1 billion in December 2009.

Ibrahim Ajami, who is the CEO of The Advanced Technology Investment Company, or ATIC will become the board’s vice chairman. ATIC is the Abu Dhabi government’s investment arm which owns 83 percent of GlobalFoundries.

It is not clear why Grose had been given the nudge. He had been the CEO of GloFo since its beginning two years ago. Speculation is that the company might not be moving fast enough for the outfit’s Arab backers.

According to a statement from GlobalFoundries, while the outfit has attracted huge demand from customers at both the leading edge and mainstream technologies, punters want more capacity, faster technology development and greater agility.

Normally this would suggest a visit to the gym, but in this case the board thinks management musical chairs will sort everything out.

Basically it looks like AMD, which is still GlobalFoundries’ biggest customer needs to start churning out mobile chips, if it is going to be relevant. To do that GloFo needs to set up different production methods.

AMD’s CEO was also asked to clean out his desk for failing to move into mobile quick enough, so it looks like it is a similar sort of thing.

AMD has found it tricky enough to find a new CEO and GlobalFoundries could find itself in the same boat.

ATIC has indicated that it will double its investment in GlobalFoundries over the next 18 months under the new leadership team. It has been making a Fab in Malta in New York State and expects to build another one in Abu Dhabi later this decade.

GloFo is also putting the finishing touches on its Fab 8 facility in New York, which should be ready soon.