Silicon Valley Nation: Maxim confronts new challenges
11/27/2012 2:45 PM EST
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SAN JOSE, Calif.--There is an old maxim about company
transformations... and then there is the new Maxim.
CEO Tunc Doluca and his team have spent five years shaking up what
had become a classic three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust old-line analog
company, Maxim Integrated Products. They changed up their
manufacturing strategy and brought in a manufacturing expert from
Intel; replaced the CFO; refocused the business units; tidied up
their distribution and supply-chain strategy; and brought in new
marketing blood. On top of that, the company got so serious about
the word "integrated" that they rebranded the company as Maxim
The company has rebranded and repositioned and refocused, and the
stock market's taken notice: in the last two years, Maxim shares have
begun to outperform some key competitors.
But, really, the hard part is beginning now, because an entire
customer base doesn't awaken one morning and suddenly realize how
different and fantastic their vendor is, especially in a market when
there are a lot of choices; especially in a market where analog
competitors are scratching the integration itch; especially in a
market where digital companies are adding more analog into their
"Our challenge is convincing the customers that we can take care of
all of their analog needs," Doluca says, sitting in front of an
impressive painting of Istanbul, in his native Turkey.
"I think in most cases, our customers are still
thinking the right way to do these (designs) is we'll get
highest-performance analog blocks and put a pc-board design
together and build a system. But they don't realize we have the
blocks and we can do it for them."
To date, the strategy has been to sweep up analog components around
other existing analog components the company sells. But the company
also is looking at a "Big D (digital), Little a (analog)" strategy.
Maxim has a bunch of a "Big A, little d" products, but the key is to
get a reputation as a company that delivers a truly integrated
solution with competitive digital technology.
Such a strategy "helps us because not only are we capturing analog
revenue, we're capturing digital revenue inside some of these
(systems)," Doluca said.
Some of the company's mobility products, for example, which are
primarily power supply solutions have embedded MCUs. "They're
becoming so complex you need those micros to do sequencing or
looking at the health of the power supply. But we still call those
Big A, little d parts," he said.