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Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

Panasonic Exits Silicon Manufacturing Business

Panasonic, an electronics manufacturing giant, has today sold its silicon manufacturing business, marking the end of an era of Japanese semiconductor manufacturing. Once a big player in silicon manufacturing scene, particularly in the '80s and '90s era when Japan's silicon output was huge, Panasonic was considered one of the main players in the silicon manufacturing business. However, due to some difficulties like operating a business with a loss of over $215 million yearly, and having to compete with Chinese and Taiwanese silicon manufacturing firms, Panasonic is selling its silicon production lines.

The subsidiary of Panasonic called "Semiconductors Solutions" is being sold to Nuvoton Technology Corporation, a semiconductor company that spun-off from Winbond Electronics Corporation in 2008, where Winbond still owns 61% stake in Nuvoton despite the spinoff. Additionally, Panasonic forecasts a 27% drop in operating profit for this physical year, with the declining semiconductor manufacturing business counted. The reasoning behind this sale is that the company plans to exit all declining businesses that also include LCD manufacturing, as Chinese alternative manufacturers are stiff competition for Panasonic when it comes to pricing and panel output.

Microsoft Advocates for Tighter Governmental Regulation of the Tech Sector With "Strong Enforcement Provisions"

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Julie Brill in a blog post this Monday shared her - and Microsoft's - thoughts on regulation and its relationship to the tech sector. Julie Brill commented on the GDPR implementation originating in Europe, and how that could and should serve as a de facto standard of regulation that forces companies to steer away from the self-accountability on which they have remained for so long - and on which, paraphrasing Apple's own Tim Cook, "There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in great damage to society."

Microsoft feels that if left to self-regulation, companies won't do as mucha s they could in the pursuit of privacy and their consumers' rights as they would with a strong enforcement regime being planned and implemented at the governmental level. Of course, I think most of us agree with this at a fundamental level. However, there should also exist some defensive measures around the design and implementation of such governmental measures, such as, for one, no interference from corporations in the regulatory process. These should only serve as consultants, to prevent any ideas of bending the regulations in their behalf, and a pervasive strategy that accounts for both small businesses and huge corporation should also be key. We should remember that while the likes of Microsoft Apple, for example, should have relative ease in updating their practices and implementing regulation-required systems, other, smaller players could either live or die in their capability to quickly adapt to the new requirements. Snuffing out competition to the big companies by enforcing heavy penalties might not be the best road. What do you think? More regulation or self-regulation?
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