UPDATE 2-MEMC CEO resigns, shares touch three-year low

jueves 30 de octubre de 2008 20:01 CET

* CEO Nabeel Gareeb resigns

* Names board member as interim CEO

* Shares fall 18 pct (Adds analysts' comments, details, updates share movement)

By Purwa Naveen Raman

BANGALORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Silicon wafers maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc WFR.N said Chief Executive Nabeel Gareeb resigned, sending its shares down as much as 18 percent to their lowest level in three years.

The resignation comes at a time when the company has been missing market estimates for quarterly earnings, hurt by recurring manufacturing issues and weakness in the semiconductor market due to lower IT spending and oversupply.

However, not many people suspected that Gareeb, who's been one of the key persons responsible for the company's transition from a semiconductor firm to both a silicon- and solar-wafers company, would resign at this point.

"Over the past seven years, he (Gareeb) has taken MEMC from a nobody to one of the leading pre-eminent polysilicon manufacturers," Gordon Johnson II of Hapoalim Securities told Reuters.

Gareeb's biggest attribute has been the ability to execute long-term contracts with solar companies at a very aggressive pricing, which helped in building a backlog of revenues, Johnson said.   Continuación...