Brainchip (ASX:BRN) shares have fallen in heavy trading after the next generation chipmaker parted ways with its chief executive, effective immediately.

The company gave no reason for the departure of Louis DiNardo, the managing director and chief executive of the San Francisco-based company since 2016.

BrainChip said only that DiNardo’s departure was by “mutual agreement”, and thanked him for his service.


DiNardo will remain employed in a part-time role for the next year to assist with the transition, for which he’ll be paid $US100,000 ($129,000) in instalments.

As provided for in his contract, he’ll also receive a severance of $US300,000 ($387,000), also paid in monthly instalments.

Essentially, he’ll be keeping his $US400,000 ($516,000) base salary for the year. (DiNardo also made $US296,958 in share-based payments last year, according to the company’s annual report).

Company co-founder and chief technology officer Peter van der Made has been made interim chief executive while a search is on for a new CEO.

Brainchip is working on developing its Akida ultra-low power computer chip for neural network processing.

The S&P Dow Jones Indices announced last week that Brainchip would be among the companies joining the ASX300 index during its next quarterly rebalancing on March 22.

At 10.44am, BrainChip shares were down 8.1 per cent to 51c.

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