Ex-Motorola CEO Jha appointed chief of GlobalFoundries

(Reuters) - Contract chipmaker GlobalFoundries Inc has appointed former Motorola Mobility chief Sanjay Jha as CEO, as it prepares to invest US$9 billion (S$11.4 billion) to US$10 billion over the next two years on next-generation semiconductor manufacturing.

Jha, an industry veteran who presided over Motorola's sale to Google, replaces Ajit Manocha, who was appointed CEO in mid-2011 but now reverts to serving as an adviser to Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company, GlobalFoundries'owner.

Some in the industry had speculated that Jha would be tapped to run Intel, a job that ultimately went to Brian Krzanich. At GlobalFoundries, Jha will spearhead the chip company's build-out of a leading-edge facility in Malta, New York, plus upgrades to facilities in Singapore and Germany.

GlobalFoundries competes against leading contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which is also investing heavily in technology to make smaller and costlier integrated circuits.

Growth has slowed for the global semiconductor industry as PC sales sputter and consumers switch to mobile devices. But ATIC executives say contract chip manufacturers will continue to grow at a double-digit pace as more firms outsource production.

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