Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Bottom Line For New IDT CEO
The new CEO at IDT is looking to improve financial performance. Jeff McCreary took over from Ted Tewksbury in August.
The hugely respected Tewksbury had initiated a turnaround at IDT, putting the company into new product programmes aimed at taking IDT further into the mobile internet, cloud computing and connectivity.
“Ted did a great job in injecting some new DNA into this company,” says McCreary, “but were were spending a lot on R&D and not delivering great results and the company was vulnerable because the stock value was low.”
“The board thought we were vulnerable and had got distracted chasing new product ideas and were not delivering great financial results,” says McCreary, adding, “IDT has divested itself of some businesses that were OK but needed money to develop.”
In December 2011, Tewksbury told EW: “The biggest challenge is explaining to Wall Street, getting the analysts to understand that it does take time to turn around a company. Basically, in the semiconductor industry it takes about 3 to 5 years from the time that you define a product to the time you develop it, get it designed into customer systems, get it qualified, get it ramped up into early revenue, and then get it to peak revenue. Analysts and investors typically have a short attention span, so that’s the biggest challenge. Right now, we’re about 3 years into this 5-year turnaround. So, with that timeline constantly in mind, the next couple of years are going to be the most fruitful for the company in terms of revenue growth.”
The investors couldn’t wait.