Silicon Graphics (SGI) announced on Monday the resignation of Richard Belluzzo as chairman and chief executive officer and said he would be replaced by Robert Bishop, a current board member.
The move comes at a tumultuous time for SGI and closely follows the announcement of a wide-scale reorganisation of the company, announced on August 10, that will lead to about 1500 global job cuts and the creation of several new units. SGI has about 9300 employees worldwide.
Belluzzo, 45, who was named CEO in January 1998, has resigned "to accept a position with a business that is not competitive with SGI", the company said in a statement. A company spokeswoman said she did not know where Belluzzo was headed.
Bishop, who is 56 and who directed SGI's global sales unit until 1995, said he is looking forward to taking the helm at a time when the company's reorganisation goes into effect.
"Having participated in the formation of our new strategy, I am fully committed to the next phase of SGI's transformation that positions the company for sustained growth and profitability," Bishop said in the statement.
Bishop's sales and marketing experience played a role in his selection, said James McDivitt, an SGI board member. "Bob brings substantial experience to the position, having built and managed several worldwide sales and marketing organisations at SGI, Apollo Computer, and Digital Equipment Corp during his 35-year career," McDivitt said in the statement.
SGI sells a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced graphics products. In its reorganisation announcement, SGI said it would create a new unit for its Cray Research LLC supercomputer business, establish a division to handle its Visual Workstation line and sign several partnership deals.
One analyst said Belluzzo's departure came as a surprise, since he had just instituted the changes thought necessary to unify the company's disparate operations.
"SGI is an unwieldy and difficult place to turn around," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, of San Jose, California. "Belluzzo came into a situation that was very difficult, but he knew that coming in. I'm surprised he concluded that was as far as he was going to take them [SGI]. It sounds like he jumped to a better situation."