August 24, 2006 – George Perlegos, founder of Atmel Corp. who was fired earlier this month for alleged misuse of corporate travel funds, has submitted his resignation as chairman of the company.
In a scathing letter to the company, filed with the SEC, Perlegos stated that he felt he could no longer fulfill his fiduciary duty as a director, saying that the company and directors “continue to make decisions without the full board’s involvement which I think are illegal and unethical, including the announcement of the second quarter results.”
Perlegos and his brother Gust, an executive vice president, were both fired Aug. 7, and board member Steven Laub was appointed as the new CEO. The company also faces lawsuits not only from the two brothers, but also from shareholders regarding the industry-wide issue of stock option backdating.
Analysts have speculated that the noise around the company could make it a takeover target. In May, shareholder RDG Capital offered to buy Atmel for about $2.7 billion, an offer that management deemed too low (and is now right about even par with the stock’s value), according to Associated Press and Forbes reports.