LONDON Accent Spa, an Italian design services company and intellectual property licensor formed by STMicroelectronics NV and Cadence Design Systems Inc., has appointed Pasquale Pistorio, former CEO of ST and Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, a professor of Electrical Engineering at UC Berkeley, to its board of directors.
In addition Accent (Milan, Italy) has a new chairman, Piero Martinotti, who until 2003 was vice president of ST responsible for its New Ventures Group, and Massimo Vanzi, Accent's CEO, takes a seat on the board. The board also includes representatives from Accent’s three major shareholders: Jean Schmitt, a managing partner of Sofinnova Partners; Marco Vismara, CEO of Cape Natexis; and R. L. Smith McKeithen, senior vice president of Cadence.
The reorganization of the board has come following on from a round of venture funding led by Sofinnova Partners (see July 17 story) which raised 10.6 million euro (about $13.3 million). It also comes at a time when Accent, originally founded in 1993, is seeking a more independent existence from its parents and a move away from a design services business model and towards and product oriented model as well as a more geographically diverse model.
At the time of the investment Vanzi said the money would allow Accent to scale up its global sales operations by opening new offices in Europe and overseas as well as expand into cost-effective areas such as Eastern Europe, China and Singapore.
Pistorio has been appointed to the board to represent the interests of a group of angel investors but he is also likely to bring numerous contacts in Singapore and China where ST was a leading investor under his leadership.
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, known in the electronic design automation (EDA) industry as ASV, was an original founder of Accent as well as a cofounder of two of the world's leading EDA companies, Cadence and Synopsys Inc.
Accent said that in future its strategic direction would be the realization of microelectronics-based products for its customers. "This market is about more than design services suppliers. It is about product realization solutions and partners," said Vanzi, in a statement. "Clients don’t want to just outsource their design work, they want an innovative and credible partner who can provide a complete solution to realize their product concepts and bring them to volume production. Our product realization solutions have been devised to fulfill this role for non-electronics as well as electronics companies both large and small," he said.
As part of its future strategy Accent said it has invested in obtaining a license to allow it to design around the ARM7TDMI, the ARM 926EJ-S and the ARM1136J-S processors.