Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gaydon resigns, but former PACE CEO leaves a clear vision

It hasn't been an easy year for PACE, the makers of set-top boxes. As Broadband TV News reported on December 14th, Pace has ended a torrid 12 months by replacing CEO Neil Gaydon with Mike Pulli, until now CEO of Pace Americas.

Pace has issued three profit warnings in 2011. In March it emerged that a US provider had delayed an order by 12 months into 2012, effectively skipping a generation of technology. Two months later the Japanese Tsunami led to problems within the supply chain. Most recently, floods at hard drive supplier Western Digital’s Bang Pa-In facility in Bangkok impacted supplies of personal video recorders. Plans were recently announced to merge the Pace Europe and Pace Networks businesses into a single unit.

Gaydon joined Pace in 1995 and established the company’s Americas operations in 1999, which have become an increasing part of the company’s revenues, and now represent US $1.7 billion of annual revenues.

I made an interview with Neil Gaydon at IBC 2011 in September 2011 when he was still Chief Executive Officer. I have no insight into the management style that Gaydon displayed inside the company. But having wandered all over several "consumer electronics" shows recently, I have a lot of respect for the way Gaydon explains the PACE vision for the connected home, what needs to happen next in the media Industry and how Pace plans to be one of the major players. He was also candid about what's the industry has not yet perfected but will need to do so in the coming 12 months. Gaydon may be gone, but the vision still seems to be sound, even if it is going to be a little delayed.

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