Hard disk manufacturer Seagate names chairman Stephen Luczo as CEO

Computer storage manufacturer Seagate Technology Inc named chairman Stephen Luczo to immediately take over the role of chief executive, succeeding Bill Watkins. Luczo will continue to serve as chairman of the company's board of directors, a position he has held since 2002.

Seagate, the top hard-disk drive maker in an industry that has felt the brunt of the global economic downturn as demand for personal computers slows, said that Luczo and Watkins will "determine what role, if any, Mr. Watkins will have at the company going forward."

"We are fortunate to have a leader of Steve's vision and experience," said Lydia M Marshall, lead independent director and chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee. "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."

Luczo said, "Seagate is a strong company and we are making measurable progress toward regaining our longstanding product leadership position across all markets. I look forward to working closely with Seagate's talented employees around the world to build upon our success and accelerate the improvements we are making in our business."

On behalf of Seagate's board of directors, 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 has held various senior management positions at Seagate over the last 15 years. He currently serves as the company's chairman of the board, a position he has held since June 2002. He served as CEO of Seagate's predecessor, Seagate Technology, Inc, from July 1998 until July 2004.

During this time, he successfully led the company's privatisation in 2000 and subsequent public offering in 2002, and Seagate announced some of the most important new products in the its history. Luczo joined Seagate in October 1993 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and later served as President and Chief Operating Officer from September 1997 until being appointed CEO.

Last month, Seagate lowered its second-quarter sales outlook to a range of $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion, down from a previous forecast of $2.85 billion to $3.05 billion. Last week, the company said it is planning to cut around 10 per cent of its US workforce. Last year, Seagate reported revenues of $12.7 billion. It currently employs 54,000 people.