Intersil CEO holds steady on analogue strategy

Six months after Dave Bell took over as CEO of Intersil from Rich Beyer, who went off to head up Freescale, the strategy at Intersil remains unchanged although there has been a change in the company’s structure and acquisition ambitions.

“We’re the fastest growing high performance analogue company”, Roberto Magnifico, vice president for sales in Europe for Intersil, told Electronics Weekly. Asked who he saw as his rivals he replied: “National, ADI, TI, Maxim and LTC”.

Intersil’s sales were around $600m in 2006 and topped $750m in 2007. While it is pursuing a growth strategy, it intends to maintain reasonable gross margins of 58 to 62 per cent, instead of shooting for the lower-growth, but higher margin (70 per cent plus) strategy of Bell’s former company LTC.

In this way, Intersil hopes to get the share price growth which has eluded LTC for the past few years.

Wall Street always pushes for growth, and faced with a company that puts margin as a higher priority than growth, marks down its shares.

Intersil is also finding opportunities in the M&A market as the IPO market remains closed and credit is expected to get more difficult to come by.

Late last month Intersil took over Kenet which, says Intersil, has the lowest-power ADCs in the business.

Bell has re-structured the company turning it from five divisions into two. One is the mixed signal division headed up by Susan Hardman. The other is the power management division headed up by Peter Oaklander.

The company’s latest product is a light sensor/proximity sensor in a 2mm x 2.1mm package which consumes 50 microAmps while providing ambient light sensing and proximity sensing via infra-red light.

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