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Western Digital names heads for flash memory, HDD units after split

(Reuters) - Western Digital on Tuesday named chief executives for its soon-to-be separated flash memory and traditional hard-disk drive (HDD) businesses and said the process was on track for completion in the second half of 2024.

Irving Tan, executive vice president of global operations, will take the helm at the remaining standalone HDD company that will operate as Western Digital, the company said.

Meanwhile, current company CEO David Goeckeler has been named chief executive designate for the flash memory business.

Last year in October, the data storage products maker announced a plan to spin off its memory business that would create two publicly traded firms, after talks of merging the unit with Japan's Kioxia stalled.

The planned split clears years of uncertainty over Western Digital's flash memory unit that was built through its $19 billion purchase of SanDisk in 2016 and caters to the smartphone and computer industries.

The move to split Western Digital, also proposed by New York-based activist investor Elliott Investment Management, will leave the company with its traditional HDD business.

In 2022, Elliott had pushed the company that makes hard drives, USB drives and memory cards to conduct a strategic review and split off its flash memory business.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)