Tessera CEO stepping down, board to be overhauled

(Reuters) - Tessera Technologies Inc Chief Executive Robert Young is stepping down, after activist hedge fund Starboard Value called for his sacking and an overhaul of the technology patent company’s board.

The company also replaced its chairman and named three new independent directors. Tessera said on Monday it plans to nominate a slate of six independent directors including the three new directors at its annual meeting scheduled for May 23.

The company’s website shows it has six directors, including Young.

Tessera did not say if Young, who became the CEO in May 2011, already had stepped down but said it had started a search for his replacement.

Tessera said earlier this month that Starboard had sent it a letter alleging Young had engaged in possible improper conduct involving “an inappropriate relationship with a female employee of the company”.

The board had asked Starboard, which has a 7.4 percent stake in Tessera, to provide evidence for the allegations and said it unanimously backed Young.

Tessera, which licenses technology used in microchip packaging, named Richard Hill as chairman, replacing Robert Boehlke, who was accused by two independent directors last month of obstructing the smooth functioning of the board.

Starboard announced in December its intention to nominate seven individuals for election to Tessera's board. (

U.S.-based Tessera said last week its DigitalOptics business will no longer supply vertically integrated camera modules and will cease all operations at its leased facility in Zhuhai, China. The company said it expects to take a related charge of between $17 million and $23 million over in the first and second quarters.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel