More importantly, Ohr said, Intersil may have had a hard time
understanding what type of analog business it was in, whether it was
the commodity standard parts business (a la Linear Tech and the old
National Semiconductor) or more application-specific/custom parts
(where Maxim is trying to move).
These are sometimes truly difficult paths to reconcile.
"Shockingly few companies are in a position to address both businesses
under the same roof," Ohr said. "Intersil may have spent too many
years thinking it could do that."
But CEOs do not operate in a vacuum. At the end of the day, Bell
becomes the face of investor discontent, but the board needs to
reassess itself. The good news is, it may already have done so.
Donald Macleod, who now serves as chairman, joined the board in
September, the first new member in six years. Macleod spent most of
his career at National Semiconductor, and, by some accounts, was the
secret to then-CEO Brian Halla's success when he served as Halla's
We'll see how Macleod and the board steer Intersil
forward--whether it's farther along the application-specific path or
back into commodity parts. It's a company with a good brand and
laudable technology, and there's time, which they bought this
weekend with Wall Street.
Intersil should ideally merge with one of the big analog players. Their power management portfolio should be a very good fit.
@ Brian any insights into possible merger of Intersil with one of the large Analog Players(ADI or Maxim or Linear)
No insights, but given that Maxim seems more open to acquisition and Linear just made its first-ever acquisition (Dust Networks) last year, the possibility is definitely there.
Or a big digital player in need of analog expertise might consider it.
Dave Bell is certainly among the most respected CEOs among analog IC companies. His expertise in Power IC business is also legendary and illustrated by visionary GaN-on-Silicon IC patents.
One of the problems is the slow-down in PC business - one of the core revenue source for Intel. Another might the ever-increasing dominance of all things power by TI.
One should certainly wish well to Dave and commend him for his integrity and leadership.
If TI is dominating power, then please explain how Dialog has grown from $85 Million in 2005 to $750 Million in 2012. Everyone in power semiconductors is flat to down for the past several years. Those guys from Stuttgart are growing at 28%!
[Answer: Apple thinks Dialog power is good enough. 25,000 patents and the world leadership of TI doesn't count. That was my point about why high volume, high margin power semiconductors are old-hat. It's over. Time to move on to move valuable products.]
Or conversely, do our CEOs tend to pack their boards with "their own guys"
it is circular - ceo's from one company are the board members of another and vise versa. Then you just have a mesh of back scratching....
Absolutely right, but I'm not sure whether the answer is more "outsiders"... at the end of the day, it's a deeply technical industry that needs technical leadership... and maybe more vigilant investors....?
I have to agree with previous posts pointing to the fact that Dave Bell is an outstandig leader and his work at Intersil was a challenging endeavor. I generally feel that Wall St pressure on BOD's is causing a lot of problems for companies like Intersil that want to move into new growth markets. The change expectations are too high and the time allowed is too short. Look around the the valley at numerous companies that are fully capable of moving into a new markets but are now allowed because of short sighted boards. My opinion is that Dave Bell had the company on the right track but the time required was too short.
Dave Bell did not have the company on the right track. He purchased too many "loser" companies. The Board finally figured it out. 3/4 of the companies were an op-ex drag and destined to stay that way for years to come. Hype doesn't pay the bills.
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