On the Cover

The lead feature in the November issue of PCD&F is an interview with Multek President Werner Widmann. The interview was conducted by Circuits Assembly editor-in-chief Mike Buetow.

Take a look and tell us what you think.

2 thoughts on “On the Cover

  1. In this age of spin for the sake of the stock price, Widmann’s attempt to portray Multek’s haphazard acquisition strategy – and I use the word “strategy” very loosely – as some sort of measured attempt to work their way logically up the BOM, represents the height of spin-doctoring.

    When you sweep away the positive spin, what’s left is a company lost in their own space.

    A company lacking any semblance of vision beyond the quarterly business review.

    A company that has risk-mitigated itself to the brink of irrelevance.

    A company whose brand once stood for trend-setting PCB technology and innovation, now reduced to an industry trailer in practically every major metric.

    But this isn’t news to anybody with some insight. With the single exception of their strength in the mobile phone market – a legacy of a former president and his operational wizard – Multek has been headed in the wrong direction since the day Widmann took the reins.

    And it’s hard to blame his bosses; first Marks and now McNamara. Neither of these guys have backgrounds in the PCB business. In their world of EMS, the PCB is just another line on the BOM. These guys don’t ask “How?” they only ask “How many?”, and on that measurement scale, Widmann has indeed done his job, although not without the help of his right-hand man, a finance guy. And we all know what happens to technology companies when finance guys start calling the shots.

    During my tenure at Multek some of the most talented minds in the industry left or were squeezed out because they had the courage to call the emperor on his new clothes. Over time the environment of healthy discourse instilled by Widmann’s predecessor gave way to a political minefield characterized by deception, manipulation, fear and career assassination. An environment that continues to this day, despite efforts by Flextronics management to stem the tide of dysfunction.

    I tip my hat to the tremendously talented, hard working managers, operators and sales professionals who continue to find a way to make things work despite these difficult conditions.

    The story of Multek is not so much the story of the hodgepodge company without a rudder that it is today hiding behind the word “diversification”, but the industry juggernaut it might have been had strong, visionary PCB leadership been allowed to guide this once proud shop to its rightful position at the head of the pack.

    My first boss in this business, Bob Trinkle, used to say, “No matter how hard you try, you can’t polish a turd.” I assure you, the people who know better aren’t buying this polishing job.

    Not for a second.

  2. They should fit in nicely with coretec should they decide to counter-offer DDI. two dysfunctions make a non-function. top notch.

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