Western digital appoints CEOs for flash memory and HDD businesses, reiterates 2024 separation timeline.

On Tuesday, Western Digital (WDC.O) announced the appointment of chief executives for its flash memory and traditional hard-disk drive (HDD) businesses, reaffirming its commitment to completing the separation process in the second half of 2024.

Irving Tan, currently the executive vice president of global operations, will lead the standalone HDD company, which will retain the Western Digital name. Simultaneously, the current CEO, David Goeckeler, has been designated as the chief executive for the flash memory business.

Last October, Western Digital unveiled plans to spin off its memory business, creating two independent publicly traded entities. This decision followed stalled merger talks with Japan’s Kioxia. The separation aims to provide clarity and address uncertainty surrounding Western Digital’s flash memory unit, which was established through the $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk in 2016, catering to the smartphone and computer industries.

The strategic move aligns with the recommendations of activist investor Elliott Investment Management, based in New York, which advocated for a thorough review and separation of Western Digital’s flash memory business in 2022. The separation will leave Western Digital focused on its traditional HDD business, streamlining its operations and strategic focus.