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Austin chip exec to take over Conexant

Longtime exec in Austin's chip industry is heading west to take the reins at the California chipmaker.

A longtime executive in Austin's chip industry has been hired as CEO and chairman of California chipmaker Conexant.

According to an article in Tuesday's Austin American-Statesman, Daniel Artusi spent 24 years as an exec at Motorola's Austin chip sites before becoming CEO of Silicon Laboratories. He's been CEO for the past two years at ColdWatt, a start-up in Austin that creates energy-saving systems for the chip and communications industries.

Artusi, who was born and raised in Argentina, isn't exactly walking into a garden party at Conexant. The broadband chipmaker, which is based in Newport Beach, has faced a sharp sales drop and lost $840 million in the past three years, the Statesman said.

On Tuesday, the stock was trading at around $1.40. Ouch.

Apparently, Artusi must believe he can make a difference. "We face near-term challenges," he said in a statement, "but I am confident that we possess the talent and market positions required to build significant shareholder value."

Artusi, who is 52, will succeed retiring CEO Dwight Decker.