SGI, the once mighty server and workstation manufacturer, appointed Dennis McKenna chairman, CEO and president on Tuesday. He replaces Bob Bishop, who has been CEO for six years. Bishop will stay on as vice chair. The change is effective immediately.
Prior to joining SGI, McKenna was the CEO of privately held SCP Global Technologies, a supplier of semiconductor capital equipment.
During the first term of the Clinton presidency, SGI, then called Silicon Graphics, was one of the coolest places to work in technology. The company's technology was behind such hits as Jurassic Park. The company, though, suffered through some product delays and started feeling competitive pressure from Sun Microsystems.
In 1996, SGI bought almost all of Cray. That is, all but the UE10000 server line, constructed out of 64 UltraSparc processors. Instead, Sun bought it, a move that allowed Sun to compete directly against IBM at the high end of the market.