Why it matters: Some have speculated that Toshiba Memory is planning to go public later this year. A name change could be a sign that the company is preparing to do just that although the timing may not be ideal. Uncertainty regarding the US / China trade dispute and shortages of Intel CPUs have resulted in some of the lowest memory prices we've seen in years.
Toshiba on Thursday announced plans to rebrand itself as Kioxia (pronounced kee-ox-ee-uh), a portmanteau of the Japanese work kioku meaning "memory" and the Greek word axia which means "value."
The change is scheduled to take place on October 1, 2019, at which time all Toshiba Memory companies will adopt the new name.
Stacy J. Smith, executive chairman of Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation, told the Financial Times that they are not giving up on their Toshiba heritage but rather, building on it. The change is "meant to mark... a new era of memory and a new start for us as an independent company."
Toshiba fell on hard times in 2015 after an accounting scandal rocked the Japanese multinational conglomerate. The company slashed nearly 8,000 jobs and sold off multiple divisions in an effort to stay afloat financially. In 2018, Toshiba's memory chip business received approval to be sold to a consortium led by Bain Capital for $18 billion.
Toshiba Memory is the world's second largest producer of flash memory (behind Samsung).