Western Digital is splitting into two companies: one for its flash business and another for its hard drive storage products. The company announced the change alongside its earnings results on Monday, noting that spinning off its flash business will allow Western Digital to “realize its full value.”
Western Digital acquired flash memory manufacturer SanDisk for nearly $19 billion in 2016. However, as noted by The Wall Street Journal, this decision will effectively reverse the merger, allowing its flash division to operate as a standalone business. The separation is expected to take place in the second half of 2024.
“Our HDD and Flash businesses are both well positioned to capitalize on the data storage industry’s significant market dynamics,” Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler said in a statement. “Given current constraints, it has become clearer to the Board in recent weeks, that delivering a stand-alone separation is the right next step.”
This past quarter, Western Digital’s revenue dropped 26 percent year over year as flash memory and disk drive sales declined. Western Digital recently expanded its disk drive lineup to include NVMe SSDs for the Steam Deck and ROG Ally as well as expandable storage cards for Xbox Series S / X consoles.
While Western Digital has been in talks to merge with Japanese flash memory maker Kioxia for years, the two companies reportedly scrapped their plans last week after an indirect Kioxia investor rejected the deal.