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Micron Technology Appoints Mark Durcan As CEO

Previous president and chief operating officer of Micron will take over in the wake of Steve Appleton’s death last Friday

Mark Durcan will become chief executive officer of the Micron Technology following the passing of Steve Appleton in a plane crash on Friday.

Durcan was initially named as the temporary CEO hours after the crash with analysts speculating that the company veteran would be asked to stay on permanently. Micron’s board of directors also appointed Robert Switz, a company director since 2006, as chairman of the board and Mark Adams, who most recently served as vice president of worldwide sales, as president.

Filling Appleton’s shoes

“We are fortunate to be able to appoint someone with Mark’s operations and technical leadership experience to serve as the company’s CEO,” said Switz in a company statement. “Mark has been instrumental in Micron’s success in his role as President and COO and has garnered the respect of the company, his team members and the industry at large.”

The announcement that Durcan would become CEO came only a week after he announced he would retire in August. He will be expected to take over a more strategic role in the company now, guiding Micron through a period of transition as well as the potential acquisition of rival Elpida Memory.

The hole left behind by Appleton will be hard to fill despite Durcan’s long history at the company. According to Reuters, the latter was heavily involved in the day-to-day business of the chipmaker, and will have to adapt to deliver a workable strategy.

“We are deeply saddened by Steve’s loss and will miss his hand at the helm. I have provided the board my ongoing commitment to work with the management team and continue to move the company forward,” said Durcan in a statement.

Steve Appleton had been CEO of Micron for the past 18 years and was a professional stunt pilot. He died on Friday when a small plane he was flying crashed at an airport in Idaho.