Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Ed Makes A Bad Appointment
‘I’m going to make myself CTO,’ Ed tells his diary, ‘I have no technical background, but neither did John Sculley when he appointed himself CTO of Apple. The purpose of it is to show the engineers who’s boss and stop all this jockeying for the job.
‘Before I announce my appointment as CTO, as well as CEO, I thought I’d better run it past someone,’ adds Ed, ‘now that the C-Class execs have all been sacked, and all the top managers are sucking up to me to take over the C-jobs, there’s no one I can ask for an objective opinion – they’ll all say brilliant, fantastic, good choice etc – but there’s one person – one of the PAs – a crisp English girl who treats me, as she treats everyone, as low-life. She’ll tell me what she thinks.’
’”There’ll be the usual Caligula/horse references,” says the CEG, “people will make fun of you but, if you don’t mind that, go for it”.’
A few days later the diary entry reads:
’She’s absolutely right,’ writes Ed, ‘much ribaldry in the canteen so I’m told. A few snide comments in the technical press. All forgotten in a week. Except for one thing – I get a Niagara of calls, letters and emails from people wanting to pitch a deal or a product.’
’There’s a company with technology which uses brainwaves to control equipment; a white space technology company; a company with a 4G wireless technology which can provide country-wide coverage for an installation cost of $40 million; and there’s a company which can translate dog barks into human language. I like the brainwave company and give the CEO a ring.’
A few days later, the diary reads: ‘Unfortunately my talk with the brainwave company seems to have leaked,’ writes Ed, ‘A Brat phones (referring to the 20-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company for its private equity owners): “What the hell are you doing talking to that crack pot brainwave company?” says The Brat, “you’re not using any of our money getting into bed with them. Drop it Ed, go back to your day job of doing your sums – there’s a good CEO”.’
’Soddit. No more Mr CTO,’ Ed confides to his diary, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’Tags: 4g wireless technology, canteen, equity owners, sharpies, space technology