AUSTIN, TX — Alex Davern (pronounced "Alec DAVern") is the new CEO of National Instruments. Davern took over the helm on Jan. 1, 2017 upon the retirement of NI Founder Dr. James Truchard. Taking over for an organization founder is often a daunting task. That's especially the case when you take over some someone who is so well known in the industry and who ran the company for over 40 years. EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe sat down with Davern on May 22, 2017 at NI Week.
Although not an engineer, Davern brings over 20 years' experience with NI to his new job. Thus, he's no stranger to the company, its products, employees, and customers. It's interesting to note that within one month, National Instruments reduced its workforce for the first time since 2014.
In the interview, Davern speaks about the CEO transition, how he's worked with the staff, what technologies are driving National Instruments' business, and how the company recruits and retains employees. "Engineers want to know that their work matters," he said. "They want they autonomy to do their jobs."
"We see four megatrends: 5G, IoT, semiconductor . . . and automotive," Davern explains in the interview. He predicts advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and electrification will be a big opportunities for NI.