Kulicke & Soffa, a pioneer in semiconductor manufacturing that has been based in the Philadelphia area for almost 60 years, announced yesterday that with the retirement of CEO Scott Kulicke, the company will be moving its headquarters functions from Fort Washington to Singapore, where much of its operations are already based.
Mr. Kulicke will retire as of September 30, 2010, and be replaced by Bruno Guilmart, who was previously CEO of Lattice Semiconductor. Mr. Guilmart will reside in Singapore, and the company says it "will migrate other headquarters functions to Singapore in fiscal 2011". It is not known at this time what operations will remain in Pennsylvania. The company's stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ.
Kulicke & Soffa was founded in 1951 by Fred Kulicke and Albert Soffa, and took off after developing the world's first wire bonder for use in the semiconductor manufacturing process. The company slumped badly in the recent economic downturn, with its shares falling as low as $1.27, but results have surged recently and the stock closed at $6.80 on Friday. For the third quarter of FY 2010, Kulicke & Soffa last week reported revenue of $221.3 million, more than four times the previous year's third quarter, and net income of $49.1 million. It has slightly more than 2,000 employees.