Editorials

Executive Changes Afoot

Recent shakeups and changes in the upper echelons of mainstay compound semi
(CS) companies like Cree and Anadigics are leading CS industry followers to
ask: What’s happening? Is there anything inherently wrong? The answer
is NO. In fact, something very good is actually happening. It’s
called “maturing.”

Those of us who have followed the silicon industry and rightfully compared
the evolution of the CS industry to that of silicon know that, indeed, business
has been tough all over. The reality in the USA is that companies have all cut
to the bone in order to cope with a politically-driven recession that’s moving
quickly towards a real depression, while worldwide demand for our technologies
and products continues to rapidly grow. What we’re experiencing within the CS
industry is the next logical and predictable growth step towards industry maturity.
And with that growth, longtime CS industry leaders, like Cree and Anadigics
in particular, are likely realizing that the compounds are simply reaching the
next evolutionary stage, and that with that next growth spurt, that it’s probably
a good idea to call upon bigger guns to run operations. Both Cree and Anadigics,
for example, have recently turned to veterans from Texas Instruments to take
over top executive slots in what I feel is a sensible effort to help the compound
semi industry live up to expectations. TI has “been there; done that
to coin what’s now an old adage. Plus… if you’ve been working for decades
in silicon, wouldn’t the hope vested in the compounds entice you into
moving to our side of the circuit? In addition, relative newcomer to the CS industry, SolFocus, has tapped a former Lockheed Martin executive, Mark Crowley, as their new president, reporting to chairman, CEO and founder Gary Conley

In the case of Anadigics and Cree, we can blame lots of things for the management changes. Anadigics reportedly
failed to meet the growing demand for power amplifiers for 3G cellphone handsets,
so Bami Bastani is taking the hit and stepping down as CEO and Ron Rosenzweig
is graciously moving from chairman to vice chairman to make way for 53 year
old Gilles Delfassy to move from board member to chairman and temporary CEO
while searching for a permanent CEO. Delfassy hails from Texas Instruments

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