Is Flextronics Stretching It?

In one of his first acts as Flextronics chief executive, Mike McNamara is changing the EMS/ODM company from a geographical-based organizational structure to one grouped by product lines.

The question is, why? Flextronics has acheived as close to a dominant position in EMS as any company has — and maybe ever will. While Jabil cleans everyone’s clocks in terms of margins and profits, Flextronics remains the largest and in many respects most innovative player in the EMS industry. Still, never underestimate Wall Street’s influence on a company.

The guess here is that every public company feels compelled to change things just for the sake of appearances, a way of saying, Hey, we’re doing something! What’s less clear is what, if anything, previous CEO (and now chairman) Michael Marks left to be fixed.

Perhaps this is one way of getting rid of some dead weight. (I have a simpler solution: Organize a race, and make the folks you want out carry barbells.)

I suppose that as long as the changes are at best beneficial and at worst transparent to customers there’s little harm in the switch. I do hope that this isn’t just Wall Street machinations, and that the company and its customers truly see a benefit to the mild chaos that will likely ensue.

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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

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  1. Pingback: Jabil: Fortune 3? at Circuits Assembly blog

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