Delaney’s Departure

Steve Delaney’s aburpt exit from Celestica on Monday raises more questions than answers. The company line — he will pursue other business interests — is standard and vague. While Delaney’s pre-Celestica days included several years at large OEMs (namely, Ford and Visteon), cynics naturally will ask where, exactly, he thinks he can go that will offer the opportunity to run a company the size of the $8.5 billion Celestica.

Analysts are stating different opinions; some feel the move is on the up and up, while others think its a sign of further problems at the Toronto-based EMS firm. The company has acknowledged problems at its Monterrey plant, which lost about $14 million between the second and third quarters, and it not expected to turn a profit until early 2007.
New CEO Craig Muhlhauser said in an interview today with Reuters that restructuring at the company is almost complete. He did say, however, “we will be in what I’ll call a continued state of refinement as we look to the future.”

“I think the mandate here is to accelerate the rate of improvement in our operational network performance, as well as dramatically improve our financial performance as a result of having made those investments.”
What’s unfortunate and troubling is that the one-time manufacturing arm of IBM has failed to resolve lingering financial problems, even in the wake of a solid recovery from the 2001-02 industry crash. That’s may not be why Delaney left yesterday, but it’s why the industry is asking questions today.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow