NVIDIA CFO suddenly resigns….why?

by admin on March 17, 2011

Multiple web sites, including TheStreet.com, Bloomberg and Tom’s Hardware Guide are reporting that David White, CFO of NVIDIA, has resigned from the company for “personal reasons”, but will remain as a NVIDIA employee through May 31, 2011.

Taking his place as interim CFO will be 43-year-old Karen Burns who currently serves as corporate controller and vice president of tax. Previously she served 10 years as head of Nvidia’s tax department, holding a “variety of titles.”

Before signing on with Nvidia, Burns served nine years in tax and audit roles with KPMG, a global public accounting firm, in its Atlanta, London and Silicon Valley practices. She holds bachelor’s and master’s of accounting degrees from Florida State University, Nvidia said.

As for 55-year-old David White, he joined Nvidia in February 2009 after leaving Sanmina-SCI Corp as the company’s CFO. Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia president and chief executive officer, said he was grateful for the counsel and leadership White provided over the last few years. But he also quickly pointed to Burns’ expertise in the same breath.

“Karen is a broadly respected veteran of Nvidia and knows our business well,” he said. “Her experience, her understanding of our business and her leadership will be a tremendous asset to us during this transition.”

A spokesperson for Nvidia said that the company had no further comments about White’s departure. However, Bloomberg reports that Nvidia stock dipped almost 6.5-percent in extended trading following the announcement. “Nvidia fell 54 cents to $17.66 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading,” Bloomberg said.

Since I am not a believer in coincidences, let’s recap the facts:

  • NVIDIA’s stock took a hit when it announced a $150-200M reserve in 2Q 2008.
  • Mr. Mervyn Burkett “retired” as NVIDIA’s CFO in March 2008
  • Mr. David White was hired as NVIDIA’s CFO on February 2009
  • Mr. White suddenly resigns on March 16, 2011, but will remain until May 31, 2011
  • Ms. Karen Burns, NVIDIA’s current corporate controller and VP of tax will assume the CFO role

I certainly hope that Mr. White’s “personal reasons” are NOT related to his health or his family.  But I have to wonder, why stay on until May 31, 2011 when his replacement has already been identified (a financial insider at that)?

Could our motion hearing on March 28, 2011 possibly have anything to do with Mr. White’s resignation?

Could it be that Mr. White will be NVIDIA’s scapegoat, paid to “fall on the sword” if NVIDIA’s nightmare is realized?  Here is how I see NVIDIA’s worst case scenario for the GPU litigation pertaining to HP Class members:

  • NVIDIA loses the case during the hearing on March 28, 2011;
  • NVIDIA is forced to re-open the claims period;
  • NVIDIA is forced to follow the settlement language, which means instead of costing approx. $200 for crappy replacements, it is now looking at multiple $100’s in additional costs;
  • NVIDIA’s claim filing rates far exceeds Rosenthal’s projection rate of 0.5 – 1%;
  • NVIDIA  vs. NUFI litigation drags on (someone needs to confirm if the case has been settled);
  • NVIDIA has to dip into its hard currency to start paying for replacements products;

But then again, NVIDIA did get $1.5 BILLION dollars from Intel, right?

If you have any connections with stock analysts covering NVDA, please ask him or her for some anonymous input and post here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: