Until this month, Simon Segars had not seen his new boss in person. Arm’s chief executive and Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s billionaire founder, have been in constant contact for months as Huang negotiated a $40bn (£31bn) takeover of the British microchip company. But despite the two living only a short Silicon Valley drive away from one another, this had been done entirely over Zoom.
The two were eventually pushed into proximity out of necessity, taking part in a panel discussion for developers at Arm’s virtual conference last week to answer questions about the deal. “That’s the first time I’ve seen Jensen in the flesh for a very long time,” says Segars. “We didn’t have a face-to-face meeting through the whole process.”
Since Sept 13, when Nvidia announced it had agreed to buy Arm from the Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank, there have been plenty of questions to answer.
Veterans of the UK tech industry, including Arm’s co-founder, have attacked the deal, claiming it jeopardises the future of Britain’s most successful technology company.
Arm’s customers – many of whom compete with Nvidia – have been calling the company, demanding assurances the sale will not put them at a competitive disadvantage.
And regulators are preparing to cast their eyes over the sale, particularly in China, which fears a famously neutral technology falling into American hands in the middle of a trade war.
Given Arm’s importance to the global technology industry, as well as Britain’s, that is