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Top woman executive resigns post

Ellen Hancock, the industry's highest-placed female executive, has resigned after losing a bid to become CEO of National Semiconductor.

Ellen Hancock, the technology industry's highest-placed female executive, has resigned her position as chief operating officer of National Semiconductor, according to a report in today's San Francisco Chronicle.

Hancock tendered her resignation just one week after losing her bid for the chip maker's top slot to newly appointed CEO Brian Halla.

The company announced yesterday that it has revamped its top management structure, which previously consisted of three chief operating officers, including Hancock, Rich Beyer, and Kirk Pond. The change marks a shift to a more traditional organization, with Halla serving as chairman, president and CEO. Beyer has been named interim COO, and Pond has taken on the subordinate role of executive vice president of manufacturing.

Hancock's decision is a case of deja vu. In January, she abruptly left IBM, where she served as a senior vice president in charge of the company's software business and computer networking division. Two months before her departure, industry observers expressed surprise when Hancock was not chosen to lead IBM's new Network Application Services organization.