Hard-disk drive maker Western Digital is buying SanDisk Corp, the flash memory chips manufacturer co-founded by India-born Sanjay Mehrotra in 1988. The deal, valued at $19 billion (around Rs 1.20 lakh crore), is one of the biggest in the global semiconductor industry.
Mr Mehrotra is likely to join the Western Digital board post the acquisition.
58-year-old Mr Mehrotra is currently the president and chief executive officer of the California-based company. He has been on the SanDisk’s Board of Directors since 2010.
In 2014, Mr Mehrotra was among the highest-paid Indian-American CEOs with an annual pay package of over $11 million (around Rs 70 crore), according to Salary.com.
Under Mr Mehrotra’s guidance, SanDisk expanded its focus to include solid state drive (SSD) solutions for the enterprise, as well as new growth strategies for the mobile and client computing segments, established and emerging retail markets, and investments into NAND scaling and post-NAND technologies.
SanDisk is the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory chips in the world. It employs over 8,600 people and has a market capitalization of over $15 billion.
Kanpur-born Mr Mehrotra started college at BITS Pilani, before getting a transfer to University of California, Berkeley, according to his LinkedIn profile. An engineering graduate, Mr Mehrotra went on to do an executive program from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2009. He started his career as a design engineer with Intel in 1980.
Mr Mehrotra is the named inventor on more than 70 patents and has published articles in the area of non-volatile memory design and flash memory systems.
SanDisk shares hit a high of $78.50 on Wednesday, but closed nearly $10 below the offer price of $86.50 in cash and stock, a fact that analysts attributed to the deal’s complexity.