Electronics execs blasted at Electronica

One of the biggest talking points among journalists at electronica last week was the no-show at the CEO panel by Carlo Bozzoti, the boss of STMicroelectronics. For one of Europe’s top three CEOs not to turn up at the annual panel of the industry’s biggest trade event is a “big thing”. As my collegue David Manners pointed out: “What on Earth could be more important than the annual CEO panel.” In fact, the behaviour of all the top bods at Electronica has our friends over at EETimes seething. Brian Fuller’s opinion column CEOs say ‘see ya’ to Electronica panel, lists a catalogue of bad form from the industry glitterati. In particular, Fuller bemoans the “no questions” format of the CEO panel:

This CEO group is eloquent when it wants to be. If it was they who made a no-questions panel a condition of their participation, then we’ve entered a sad, dark world.

He’s right. For a panel session not to be moderated by someone who can field questions from the audience, whether from engineers or from journalists, is pathetic. Whoever made the decision to ban questions should take a long hard look at the message they’re sending out to the industry. As Brian rather eloquently puts it:

There was a time when electronics was roaring and CEOs energetically engaged in public discourse about where things were headed and the numerous possibilities that awaited technology creators who shared ideas. Perhaps they’ve lost the vision, the courage of their convictions.

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