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Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

It's rare to hear a CEO talk proudly about bringing profit margins down, but Arm chief Simon Segars says that's just what his company's 2016 acquisition by SoftBank has allowed him to do.

Why it matters: Arm-based chips have found their way into nearly every smartphone. Freed from having to satisfy shareholders with hefty profits, Segars says that under SoftBank, Arm can focus on investing, in hopes of finding similar dominance in the cars and smart devices of the future.

For those not familiar, Arm doesn't make chips, but licenses its processor designs to companies like Qualcomm, Nvidia and Apple that use it as the starting point for their own chips. It was acquired for $32 billion by SoftBank in 2016.

As a public company, Segars said, Arm had roughly 50% percent operating margins. Now those margins are about 10%.

"I don't know of companies that do that successfully in public markets. It would be very hard."
— Segars, in an interview with Axios

It's not about making less money in the long term, of course, Segars said, but rather about investing so that it can gain a bigger foothold in areas like cars.

As Arm doesn't make the actual chips, most of that investment is in people. The company is now around 6,500 employees, up from 4,500 when it was acquired by SoftBank.

What's next: Segars said Arm is focused on the long-term impact 5G will have on businesses and in connecting all manner of devices, as well as making sure its designs are used throughout the connected car.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.