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Micron CEO: 'Nothing interim' about new job

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The new chief executive officer of Micron Technology Inc. says there is nothing interim about his job.

Mark Durcan also says product development, possible acquisitions and improving markets are propelling the company forward following the death of the company's longtime leader, Steve Appleton.

Durcan made the comments Friday in his first meeting with analysts after Appleton's death, the Idaho Statesman reported (http://bit.ly/wNA6dy). Appleton was killed Feb. 3 when his experimental plane crashed at the Boise Airport, west of Micron's desert campus.

"I can't do anything half-assed," Durcan said. "I'm not as good as Steve at some sports, but I'm a hard-nosed competitor. There is nothing interim about my role as CEO of Micron."

Analysts had been looking for a definitive statement concerning Durcan's role because Durcan had announced a week before Appleton's death that he was planning to step down as president and chief operating officer in August.

Micron's board appointed Durcan as the interim CEO hours after Appleton died, and the next day removed the interim part of the title.

Mike Howard, a semiconductor analyst in Boise for market-research company IHS iSuppli and a former Micron employee, said Durcan delivered the right message to a "room full of people who have a lot of influence over what your stock is worth."

Micron's stock dropped 2.8 percent to $7.72 on the Monday after Appleton's death, which occurred on a Friday. Seven days after Appleton's death, Micron's stock closed at $7.91, down 4 cents from the previous Friday.

"I think Steve would have been happy" with Durcan's comments, said Betsy Van Hees, a senior vice president and semiconductor analyst at Wedbush Securities' San Francisco office.

In other moves following Appleton's death, the board promoted Mark Adams from vice president of worldwide sales to president.

Howard said Appleton believed that the industry would consolidate.

"I would expect Mark was fully aware of that," Howard said, adding Appleton's goal was to be the last company standing in that consolidation process. "As long as you were around when the music stopped, it was great."

Van Hees said Micron appears to be in good shape.

"Micron sits as a well-established, financially stable leader in the memory markets," she said.

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