Arm, a British Chip Designer, Juggles Challenges Before 2023’s Biggest I.P.O. – The New York Times

Artificial Intelligence
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The SoftBank-owned company, which for decades has defined how mobile phones operate, is grappling with geopolitical and commercial complexities as it prepares to go public this week.

Reporting from San Francisco
Rene Haas, the chief executive of the chip-design powerhouse Arm, has many masters to serve.
He reports to Masayoshi Son, the head of SoftBank, which owns Arm and plans to sell a portion of the British company this week in the year’s biggest initial public offering. Officials in Beijing and Washington also command Mr. Haas’s attention amid a widening chip trade war, as does Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and others who have unsuccessfully pitched the idea of a stock listing in the country.
And Mr. Haas must juggle the demands of more than 200 companies that use Arm’s technology. Ten of the biggest — including Apple, Google, Samsung and Nvidia — have been negotiating for stakes in the highly anticipated Arm offering as artificial intelligence drives explosive demand for more powerful chips.
“It’s only going to get more and more complex,” Mr. Haas said in a speech in May at a trade show in Taiwan. “I’m an old person in this industry. I’ve never seen it like this.”
Few companies face as many geopolitical and commercial complexities as Arm, the creator of the most widely used computing architecture of all time. Its public offering, which is expected to start trading on Thursday and to value the company around $52 billion, will signal Arm’s ability to weather those challenges and enter new markets. How Arm performs will also influence the market for public listings, which has been quiet for much of the year.
There are “a lot of companies to please and a lot of capitals to please,” Jodi Shelton, chief executive of the Global Semiconductor Alliance, a big trade group, said of Arm. Mr. Haas, she added, “has to not only play diplomat on a global level but to customers.”
Arm is in a quiet period before its public offering, with Mr. Haas expected to help ring the Nasdaq opening bell in New York on Thursday.
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