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Bastani quits Anadigics after PA pullback

The popularity of the company's GaAs BiFETs for 3G handsets has been a mixed blessing, with its 10-year veteran CEO departing as it counts the cost of failing to meet demand in 2007.

Bami Bastani, the chief executive officer and president of RF chip maker Anadigics, has resigned after the company s outlook for the current quarter veered sharply from profit to loss.

The Warren, New Jersey, firm parted company with Bastani on August 17 and chairman Gilles Delfassy will now temporarily fill in as CEO until a permanent replacement is found.

Bastani receives a $3 million severance payment after nearly 10 years of service, having joined Anadigics on October 2 1998.

The GaAs manufacturer had just emerged from a 6-year loss-making wilderness after recording an annual profit in 2007, followed this year by two record revenue quarters. However, this upsurge left Anadigics manufacturing facility struggling to keep up and actually failing to meet the demand of handset customers in the crucial December quarter.

It now appears that the past two quarters revenues have been swollen somewhat by over-ordering from handset makers that were unable to obtain sufficient Anadigics PAs at the end of 2007. Since then, these customers have also switched some business to other PA makers.

Consequently, Bastani had to reduce his estimate of Anadigics revenues for the current quarter below $65 million, down from the $80.5 million sales for the June quarter that he previously thought might be repeated. The net result could be a loss as big as $0.10 per share, as opposed to a previously foreseen profit of up to $0.05 per share.

The fateful increase in demand was largely driven by a focus on power amplifiers for 3G cellphone handsets, after Anadigics had been burned by 2G technology in Bastani's early days as CEO.

Then, in the late 1990s, Anadigics had originally swung from profit to loss as Nokia shifted to sourcing 2G cellphone PAs from RF Micro Devices.

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