Bill Watkins should be a familiar face to regular DailyTech readers. Watkins has served as CEO of Seagate since 2004 and is known for his rather abrupt tone when it comes to talking about technology.
Watkins made headlines in late 2006 for his comments on the HDD industry. "Let's face it, we're not changing the world," said Watkins in December, 2006. "We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."
Watkins was also initially skeptical of solid state drives (SSDs) in the notebook sector. "Realistically, I just don’t see the flash notebook sell. We just don’t see the proposition," added Watkins in March 2008. Seagate would later go on to sue SSD manufacturers for patent infringement.
It now appears that Watkins' time as Seagate CEO is now coming to an end. Watkins is resigning from his post and is handing his title over to Seagate Chairman Stephen Luczo.
It is a surprising move and "nobody seemed to see it coming," said Robert W. Baird & Co's Jayson Noland. "These are challenging times for lots of companies," Noland continued. "When times get tough, it can cause a lot of emotion. It's just a difficult environment for everybody."
Lydia M. Marshall, the company board's lead director, stated, "We are fortunate to have a leader of Steve’s vision and experience. Steve’s significant understanding of Seagate’s business and technology, and the customer and employee relationships that he built over his 15 year career at Seagate make Steve the ideal person to lead our Company at this time."
For his part, Luczo added, "I want to take this opportunity to thank Bill Watkins for his commitment to Seagate. Since first joining Seagate more than 12 years ago, Bill has made many significant contributions to our Company through his dedication, knowledge and leadership."
Luczo bring 15 years of experience at Seagate to the table in his position as CEO. He will have to steer the company through these difficult economic times and hopefully get the company onboard with the booming SSD market.