Anyone who spent some time to follow the history of Renesas and Akao could see that he would have done nothing to right the ship. Had he been an effective manager, Renesas Technology probably would not have rapidly going down the WW Semi Ranking after it was created in early 2000s. Soon after the formation of RMC, it was obviously Akao and his croonies were not going to make it. The operation was "bloated" from the start: offices in many geographies worldwide (Japan, US, China, India, Germany, Finland). Money were wasted by unnecessary business travels. Japanese management were saddled with indecision and top-heaviness. European management were saddled with high cost (this could be OK with the right market strategy though) and slow moving (typified by the spectacular failure of STE and perhaps Alcatel as well). US management was simply a window dressing at the time. Given the competition are the very aggressive MediaTek, Spreadtrum, HiSilicon, Samsung in Asia; and Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, Marvell, Nvidia in US. RMC was doomed to fail to many people with true understandings of technologies, semiconductors, and markets in Asia/US/Europe.
In truth, I was not surprised at the demise of RMC. However, I moan the once great Nokia modem engineers are now in the wilderness. I wish someone with good vision and bravery to pick them up, do the right thing, make the right move, and show the world what they can do!
I mean no disrespect to our Japanese and French colleagues, who I've enjoyed working with, but to me this news also means the final death of the once great Nokia Mobile Phones.
People have obviously come and gone since, but probably around 70% of the people working in the modem part of RMC are still the ex-Nokia modem people and with us all being made redundant, it marks the end of that modem software asset. I feel proud to have been part of the team and part of that asset.
Ignoring some of the awful Nokia phones that were released around the time things went pear shaped (N97 anyone?), that modem technology has been in some of the most well regarded handsets in the industry. N95, E71, 6310, 8310, 3310 to name but a few. In fact, as the modem technology was licensed to STEricsson for their NovaThor chipset, there are also products on the market today to feel proud of such as the Samsung S3 mini and some of the Sony Xperia series.
A lot of those were before my time here, but there are still a lot of people in RMC who were involved in those products and should feel proud of their legacy. And I re-iterate earlier comments that it seems a crime that such a 20+ year old software asset with proven quality might get consigned to nothing more than a DVD with some source code on it, gathering dust in an archive somewhere.
On a more general note, since the buyout of the Nokia Wireless Modem divison for a relative pittance and the inception of RMC, we have, in 2 years, taken a workforce consisting of a relatively low headcount and lacking experience in productising platforms, and become pretty much the number 2 chipset vendor in the industry. As far as I know the only vendor apart from Qualcomm with a product ready LTE triple mode implementation. What more could we have done?
I think you said what Renesas managemet needed to hear.
Funny, you mention "utilization rate."
In fact, I was in conversation with an ex-Renesas guy a few months ago back in Japan. He was telling me a story about SO many executives -- general managers, deputy general managers, assistant general managers -- who were all sitting around in a big office room in Tokyo and reading the daily newspapers, well after their lunch hours.
Part of the reason why that has happened, I was told, is because when the company repeated "integration," they couldn't figure out a way to streamline thoes managers; or to adjust their salaries.
Bloated was perhpas neither customer support nor design engineers...but rather middle and upper management.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.