Rambus fires CEO Ron Black for unspecified 'conduct' issue

The chip licensing company says an "incident" led up to the decision.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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2 min read

Ron Black has been fired as the CEO of Rambus.

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Rambus, a memory design and patent licensing company, said Thursday it fired Chief Executive Officer Ron Black after an incident the company's board of directors determined fell short of the Rambus' conduct standards.

"The termination follows an incident unrelated to the company's financial and business performance," Rambus said in the statement that didn't specify what led up to Black's removal. Black had served as CEO since 2012.

Luc Seraphim, senior vice president and general manager of its memory and interface division, will serve as interim chief executive as the board searches for a permanent replacement.

Rambus didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Black's dismissal comes a week after Brian Krzanich , CEO of processor rival Intel , resigned after the company's board learned of a past consensual relationship between the married CEO and an Intel employee.

Rambus, a holder of key DRAM memory patents, which are used as the main memory for PCs, has a long and convoluted history of lawsuits and legal action. In 2010, Samsung settled a patent disputed between the two by agreeing to pay $900 million to Rambus. The Federal Trade Commission also accused the company of intentionally withholding patent plans from a standards body that later sanctioned certain Rambus technology that is found in many PCs and servers around the world.

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