SAN FRANCISCO—The sudden departure of John Bruggeman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Cadence Design Systems Inc., was hastened by a reorganization of marketing functions within the company that a longtime analyst believes could signal a coming change in CEO at the EDA vendor.
Cadence (San Jose, Calif.) said is in a regulatory filing made late Friday (July 28) that Bruggeman is leaving Cadence to pursue other opportunities. Bruggeman has agreed to remain with Cadence as a
non-executive employee through Aug. 14 to assist with transitional
matters, Cadence said.
The departure of Bruggeman, a former Wind River Systems Inc. executive who joined Cadence in August 2009, comes as a surprise to most observers. Bruggeman has been a very visible part of Cadence's turnaround and strategic direction over the past two years. Bruggeman was the driving force behind EDA 360, the document Cadence published in 2010 which the company described as a vision for the future of EDA.
A spokesperson for Cadence said Monday that the company announced to employees last week that product marketing would move into the corresponding R&D organizations within Cadence. Pankaj Mayor, chief of staff to Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan, has stepped in as the acting head of marketing for Cadence, the spokesperson said.
"[Bruggeman's] work and accomplishments have had a positive impact on our company’s marketing efforts. We thank him for his contributions," the spokesperson said in an email.
Gary Smith, chief analyst at Gary Smith EDA, said he suspects that Tan, the venture capitalist who took over as CEO of Cadence in January 2009, is preparing to step down from the CEO position and that the company reorganized its marketing functions in preparation for that move. Smith said the rumor mill has Charlie Huang, Cadence's senior vice president of worldwide field operations, as the odds-favorite to take the CEO reins from Tan.
Smith said Bruggeman's aggressive, hard-charging style may not have been a perfect fit for Cadence's culture. "The company is far more conservative than Bruggeman is," Smith said. "Bruggeman was the guy that was pushing for the change. A lot of those [Cadence] guys are still conservative back-end guys."
But Smith said it remains to be seen whether the loss of Bruggeman is the best more for Cadence. The ultimate goals of EDA 360, which presents a much broader vision for the future of EDA, aim Cadence at a far larger potential market.
"The toss up right now is whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for Cadence," Smith said. "Do they still need Bruggeman around to push them in the ESL [electronic system level] realm?"
I just know that during the time-frame of this guy, Cadence Orcad and the layout was a mess and was unusable in my opinion. I'm not sure of the organization, but the products seem to be very heterogeneous and not playing well. Almost a kludge. I abandoned using them about 2 years ago, so things may have improved.
@Ron Wilson: your latter point about extracting value from a wider segment of the design chain is exactly what Ansys has been using as a game plan though it came from the other end of the spectrum (its tools were mostly used in backend & packaging before the acquisition of Ansoft). It is time the big EDA started to diversify and play in other segments of the value chain.
It almost seems as if there is an internal struggle between the Cadence that wants to keep building increasingly complex tools for a shrinking and unrewarding market and the Cadence that wants to extract value from a wider segment of the design chain. Is the outcome as simple as saying that if the first group beats the second, the shareholders lose?
This is a surprise indeed... I thought Bruggeman was a good fit in the role he was serving... also their internal announcement that "product marketing would move into the corresponding R&D organizations within Cadence..." may turn out to be beneficial in the long run. Is this just a precursor to more coming from Cadence?
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