Jha, an industry veteran who presided over Motorola's sale to Google, replaces Ajit Manocha, who was appointed CEO in mid-2011 but now reverts to serving as an adviser to Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company, GlobalFoundries' owner.
It had been widely rumoured that Jha would run Intel, a job that ultimately went to Brian Krzanich. At GlobalFoundries, Jha will spearhead the chip company's build-out of a leading-edge facility in Malta, New York, plus upgrades to facilities in Singapore and Germany.
Growth has slowed for the global semiconductor industry as PC sales sputter. But ATIC executives say contract chip manufacturers will continue to grow at a double-digit pace as more firms outsource production.