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New Freescale CEO intent in growing market share

Posted: 21 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gregg Lowe? market share? semiconductor industry?

At Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s Technology Forum, the company's new CEO, Gregg Lowe, was asked about Freescale's strengths and weaknesses. Being just new to the position, Lowe acknowledged that he was not yet qualified to answer the question.

However, Lowe made one thing clear above all others. He emphasized that his primary mission is to improve Freescale's market share and growing the company faster than the overall semiconductor industry.

"I don't know that I can point to a single weakness after 13 days," Lowe said. "What I would tell you is that the employees of this company feel they know they have the skills and the capabilities to do a better job of growing the company and gaining market share."

Gregg Lowe

Lowe: What I would tell you is that the employees of this company feel they know they have the skills and the capabilities to do a better job of growing the company and gaining market share.

Lowe acknowledged that he is not yet ready to list in which product areas Freescale has the best opportunities to capture greater market share. He also declined to put a timeline on how long it will take him and the rest of the company's management to agree on a strategy to grow the company's top line.

"I am working on that aggressively," Lowe said. "But I am not going to be impatient. This is a company that has a lot of different things going on. We've got to make the right decisions and choices."

Early on in his keynote address, Lowe, a long-time executive at Texas Instruments Inc., said he was drawn to the Freescale job by what he saw as values that he sharedintegrity, openness, a team environment and a desire to win. He added later that he was intrigued by Freescale's solid technical heritage and strong position in a number of markets.

Lowe was appointed Freescale's president and CEO about six weeks after Rich Beyer announced his decision to retire pending a search for a new top executive for the company.

Lowe said he has spent the past 13 days talking to Freescale employees at all levels, from high-ranking executives to random employees in the company cafeteria. "This is a team that is hungry," he said. "This is a team that wants to win. This is a team that has a heritage of winning. And I hope to work together with that team to put us back in that position."

In a meeting with analysts later Tuesday, Lowe was asked about managing Freescale's massive debt load, which stands at more than $6 billion. "The debt is what it is," Lowe said. "It's down from what it's been, so there's�been some good progress on that front." Lowe added that the "one lever that hasn't been pulled enough" is to grow the company's top line faster than the overall market.

Asked by an analyst to describe to what degree his compenzation was tied to Freescale's success, Lowe largely sidestepped the question. But, he said that he had been asked if he had "skin in the game" previously.

"I feel like I have all of my organs in the game at this point," Lowe said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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