Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost seven years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Milligan
  • Search for a successor
  • Milligan said 112 words

(exechange) — San Jose, California, October 30, 2019 — Steve Milligan, chief executive of Western Digital, leaves. As announced by Western Digital Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, Stephen D. (Steve) Milligan leaves his post as chief executive officer at the computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company after almost seven years in the role.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.4 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Milligan will continue to serve as CEO until the Board has identified and appointed a successor, and then will remain with the Company in an advisory role until September 2020 to ensure a smooth transition. He will also remain a director on the Company’s Board for a transition period after his successor is appointed.

Western Digital will undertake a search for a successor.

“As we prepare for a cyclical upturn, now is the right time”

A reason for Steve Milligan’s departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Milligan said: “We are currently at an inflection point in the semiconductor cycle and, as we prepare for a cyclical upturn, now is the right time to begin the transition to Western Digital’s next phase of leadership.”

Precise information regarding Steve Milligan’s future plans was not immediately available.


Western Digital said: “Steve Milligan, chief executive officer and a member of the Western Digital Board of Directors (“the Board”) since January 2013, has informed the Board that he intends to retire as the Company’s CEO.”

Western Digital further said: “Stephen D. Milligan, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), intends to retire as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Mr. Milligan’s decision to retire was not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Western Digital said.

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Western Digital Corp.’s share price of 37% since March 2018.

Chaired by Matthew Massengill

Western Digital Corp. is chaired by Matthew Massengill.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Steve Milligan became CEO of the Company in January 2013.

Milligan has served as Western Digital CEO and as a director since January 2013.

He first joined the Company in 2002 and served as chief financial officer from 2004 to 2007.

From 2007 to 2009, he served as chief financial officer of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST).

In 2009, Milligan was appointed president and CEO of HGST, where he led a significant operational and financial turnaround that culminated in Western Digital’s acquisition of HGST in March 2012.

Since rejoining Western Digital in 2012, Milligan has led the Company’s ongoing evolution from a provider of storage components to a global diversified enabler of data infrastructure.

He also led the acquisition of SanDisk in 2016, which further positioned Western Digital as a long-term growth brand.

Under Milligan’s leadership, Western Digital has built a strong portfolio of HDD and flash products, including industry leading capacity enterprise drives and 3D-flash technology, that uniquely positions the Company to provide new architectures and capabilities to manage the volume, velocity and variety of data.

Milligan serves as board chairman of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and is also on the board of directors of Autodesk, Ross Stores, Inc. and The Ohio State University Foundation.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

Read the full story in the exechange report 44.2019 ($).