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Transmeta gets a new chief

Chip designer names Lester Crudele as CEO and president amid a patent fight with Intel. Crudele to take on role in February.

Transmeta named Lester Crudele as its chief executive and president on Tuesday, a move that comes as the chip designer is embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit with Intel.

Crudele, who has 30 years of experience in the chip business, has been a Transmeta board member for the past 18 months and a management consultant to the company since October.

Crudele will replace Arthur Swift, Transmeta's former senior vice president of marketing who was promoted to the CEO spot less than two years ago. Swift's appointment came as the company initiated a restructuring to focus its operations on licensing its intellectual propriety and to reduce its focus on developing and marketing new products.

With the restructuring, Transmeta filed a lawsuit against Intel in October, alleging patent infringement of its chip design. And earlier this month, Intel filed a countersuit.

"I want to thank Art Swift for his leadership and efforts in transitioning the business model over the last two years," Murray Goldman, Transmeta's chairman, said in a statement. "During his tenure, the company has delivered the first profitable quarters in the company's history."

Swift will continue to serve as Transmeta CEO and president until February 1, when Crudele takes over his new role.

"Les brings to Transmeta his proven leadership ability, technological expertise, extensive operational management experience and entrepreneurial energy," Goldman said. Crudele will also remain as a Transmeta board member.

Last year, Crudele served as chief operating officer for six months at Quickfilter Technologies, a semiconductor company. He has also held the CEO and president post at chip company Banderacom (now NetEffect).