Chip Tool Maker Brooks CFO Resigns

| About: Brooks Automation, (BRKS)

Chelmsford, Mass.-based Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS), a $1 billion (market cap) maker of robots that move semiconductor wafers around the shop floor, this morning announced that its chief financial officer Robert Woodbury resigned after almost five years at the company amidst an ongoing restructuring that has also seen the departure of the company’s chief operating officer back on November 30.

No details were given for Woodbury’s departure, but the implication seems to be that chief executive Robert Lepofsky, appointed in August, is cleaning house. That could be a good thing, for a company whose sales fell almost 9% last year and are expected to rise only 2% this year. New blood, new shot at the prize.

But Lehman Brothers analyst C. J. Muse writes in a note Friday morning that while Woodbury’s departure is not a disaster, it also has risks. “While Bob’s resignation does not come as a major surprise given new direction/managerial style of recently appointed CEO, [his] departure does create loss for Brooks given CFO’s strong relationship with investor base. Bob was well respected by investors and his departure will likely lead to some consternation by investor base.”

Well, not Friday afternoon, however: Brooks shares are actually up 1.35% at $13.50.