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Synaptics CEO out as earnings hit by China softness, stock plunges

Jeremy C. Owens

Synaptics Inc. shares dropped 7% in after-hours trading Friday afternoon, after the tech company announced that its chief executive is leaving and that its earnings had disappointed amid troubles in China. Synaptics revealed that its fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue would be "around" the lower end of its guidance range, and stated that revenue was "affected by demand softness in China." In a news release, the company said that Chief Executive Richard Bregman would depart immediately, with an executive committee appointed to oversee the company with assistance of Norman Chan, who was appointed executive chairman of the board after previously serving as nonexecutive chairman. "We are focused on capturing numerous opportunities before us and evolving the company under new leadership to increase shareholder value," Chan said in a statement. "We thank Rick for his contributions to Synaptics." Synaptics released second-quarter earnings last month, and announced the departure of its chief financial officer for Lumentum Holdings Inc. at the same time. Synaptics stock has struggled since merger discussions with Dialog Semiconductor PLC fell apart over the summer. Shares have declined 9.9% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.2%.