updated 08:40 pm EST, Sat February 4, 2012
Micron extends COO's stay after CEO
Micron has picked its COO Mark Durcan as its temporary CEO in the wake of its CEO Steve Appleton's death in an airplane crash on Friday. Durcan had intended to retire in August but agreed to stay on as CEO until a permanent replacement could arrive. The memory designer hasn't given a clear indication of any short-listed candidates.
The decision was was made after Appleton encountered what may have been a mechanical failure with his Lancair kit plane, more details of which have emerged since his death. He had landed at the Boise airport after what looked to be an initial problem with his aircraft just after takeoff. He took off again, but soon after told air traffic control of a problem. Seconds after he turned back in to land, he crashed between the two runways.
The Lancair has had a higher than usual number of fatal accidents, although Appleton was known both for being a skilled pilot and for willingly taking risks in sports planes. He was in an accident in an Extra 300L in 2004 that gave him serious injuries but didn't stop him either from returning to his CEO position or continuing to fly high-speed aircraft.
Many attributed this competitive streak to his avoiding nearly being ousted at Micron as well as relatively safe throughout 18 years of being at the front of the company. Most of its challenges in recent months have come from the rises of smartphones and tablets, which have put a crunch on most any business dependent on traditional PCs. [via Bloomberg]