December 9, 1996 6:35 PM ET

Rogers resigns as president, CEO of Cyrix

By Charles Cooper

  Jerry Rogers resigned today as president and chief executive of Cyrix Corp., a company that analysts say has overpromised and underdelivered.

The Richardson, Texas, microprocessor maker announced Rogers' resignation late Monday afternoon but did not offer a reason for his departure.

Cyrix, a perennial No. 3 behind Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., has been plagued by financial woes. During the company's third quarter, Cyrix lost $6.9 million, compared with a $556,000 profit a year earlier. The company has suffered as a result of aggressive pricing from Intel as well as by delays in shipping new products.

"There has been a joint decision between the board of directors and Jerry," said a company spokeswoman, who declined further comment.

Rogers, one of Cyrix's co-founders, will continue to serve on the company's board of directors.

Jay Swent, the company's senior vice president of finance and administration, has been appointed to head an interim Office of the President until Cyrix finds a replacement for Rogers.

The other members of the Office of the President are Kevin McDonough, senior vice president of engineering; Nancy Dechaud, vice president of manufacturing; as well as members of Cyrix's board of directors.

In a company statement, Cyrix Chairman Berry Cash said Rogers "has done a great job guiding Cyrix through its recent difficult time. We are coming out of these difficulties with a strong product offering that has attracted healthy customer interest."

In recent months, the company's sales have begun picking up. However, a track record spotted by product delays and earnings disappointments has hurt the company's reputation.

"It's very hard to be credible when you're competing against Intel," said Mario Morales, an analyst with International Data Corp., based in Framingham, Mass. "The major problem was that they tried to position themselves in a mainstream market against Intel. Cyrix didn't have the resources, the capacity or the ability to reach customers that Intel had."

Cyrix's reputation also suffered when its technology was found to be incompatible with the core logic found on most PCs, Morales added.

"They overpromised and undelivered and as a result lost credibility," said Michael Slater, editorial director of industry newsletter MicroDesign Resources, in Sebastopol, Calif. "They were overoptimistic about how quickly they could move the 6x86 into production and overoptimistic about how fast they could sell the product."

"A lot of his vision helped create Cyrix, and he pushed the company very hard," Slater continued. "But the company's struggles over the last 18 months showed that management decisions were questionable."

Analysts say the tactical challenge facing Cyrix is how to leverage its relationships with third-party manufacturers to increase production. However, they say the company must also figure out how to build a growing, successful microprocessor company when it does not own its own fabrication facility.

NexGen, another chip manufacturer that did not own a fabrication plant, answered that question by agreeing to be acquired by AMD.

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