Xilinx announced that its board of directors has appointed Victor Peng as CEO, effective January 29. He will become the fourth CEO in the $2 billion company’s history and take the helm at a time when competition with the world’s biggest chip maker, Intel, is acute.
One of Silicon Valley’s oldest chip companies, Xilinx was founded in 1984 in San Jose, California. It makes chips that are easily customizable, which allows them to be used in products where the protocols or details keep changing up to the last minute. The chips are standard products that are like blank slates, and engineers can customize them using software and program the chips to do specific functions.
Peng is an interesting choice, as Asian American CEOs were once a rarity in Silicon Valley. He’ll be the primary leader in giving customers a choice when it comes to acquiring programmable chips from Intel. As a former leader at Advanced Micro Devices, Peng knows what that competition is like.
“Victor is unique in his ability to translate vision and strategy into world-class execution and has an incredible ability to inspire and lead transformation. He has been the architect of Xilinx’s innovations for the past decade and will move the company forward with the speed required to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us,” said Dennis Segers, chair of the board of Xilinx, in a statement. “Victor is a proven leader with exceptional business acumen and a deep, unwavering dedication to customers. The board is thrilled to appoint Victor CEO as the company enters its next chapter of expanded innovation and growth.”
It won’t be easy to compete, as Xilinx’s archrival, Altera, was acquired by Intel for $16.7 billion in 2015.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead Xilinx at such a dynamic time in our industry,” said Peng. “The world of technology is changing rapidly, and I plan to architect Xilinx to take advantage of where I see the greatest opportunities for transformational growth. Xilinx is in a rare position of strength and is poised to capitalize on the next shift in computing. By focusing on delivering unique value to new areas, as well as our traditional markets, I plan to accelerate the company’s growth and create the next wave of shareholder value.”
Since joining the company in 2008, Peng has spearheaded industry-leading strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer, and he was appointed to the board in October 2017.
Before joining Xilinx, Peng was corporate vice president of the graphics products group (GPG) silicon engineering at Advanced Micro Devices, where he also served as a leader in AMD’s central silicon engineering team supporting graphics, console game products, CPU chipset, and consumer business units.
Peng succeeds Moshe Gavrielov, who will step down as CEO and from the board of directors on January 28, as part of a previously announced CEO succession plan.