Great tech innovators: Warren East

He was recently honoured with a CBE

Warren East was CEO of ARM
  • Age: 53
  • Company: ARM
  • Best known for: Hardware, software
  • Quote: "It has been a privilege to lead ARM during such a momentous and exciting time for our industry."

Warren East was the Chief Executive Officer of ARM, the UK-based semiconductor and software design juggernaut with a global presence, for almost 12 years.

ARM was founded in 1990, and Oxford University educated East (he studied engineering sciences there) joined the company four years later to kick off the firm's consulting business, before swiftly becoming vice president of business operations, and then Chief Operating Officer in 1997. He was promoted to CEO in October 2001, and stepped down in July 2013 (succeeded by the then president of ARM Simon Segars).

When East first took the chief executive position, ARM had just one processor line for mobile phones (mostly), and he directed the firm on a vast expansion to become a leading tech sector player, with the result that in his final year, the company served some 300 semiconductor customers across almost nine billion chips. And under his decade plus of leadership, the organisation scooped royalties on over 40 billion ARM-based chips.

East is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and was awarded a CBE in 2014 for his work in the tech industry.

East became a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce in January 2014, and recently announced he's to become CEO of the company in July of this year. Currently, he's still a non-executive director of BT, Dyson and Micron Inc. among other companies, though he'll be leaving all but one of those positions when he becomes chief exec of Rolls-Royce (as that's company policy).

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