Holdt, who has served as vice chairman after holding the CEO and president positions between 1992 to 1996, is stepping out of retirement.
He replaces Gary Johnson, who has been named vice chairman. Diosdado Banatao has resigned as S3 chairman but will remain a director.
"I look forward to returning to full-time operational responsibility at the helm," said Holdt in a statement. "Based on products currently under development, I expect S3 to reenter the high end of the PC graphics market in 1998. Gary will remain to support me by continuing to focus on a number of key strategic initiatives he launched during the last year, and Dado will remain on the board and assist on strategic direction."
He added that his ultimate goal is to bring in a long-term replacement for himself who can lead the company through its next phase of growth.