back to article It's all gone to Schmitt: New OCZ boss rips 'n' replaces execs

Flash storage biz OCZ's new CEO has replaced almost a dozen executives - and he's banging on about quality as he strives to resuscitate the near-dead OCZ flash business. OCZ over-extended itself drastically under founder and previous CEO Ryan Petersen, who was ousted last year, leaving the company with far too many under- …

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Anonymous Coward

Smells like a flop to me

Company drastically low on funds, needs to turn a profit fast. First thing they do?

Fire a load of execs who know what they're doing, and probably give out big layoff payments to cover it

Hire a load of new execs who do not know what they're doing, and probably on a higher pay grade than previous execs.

Most likely to cover these payoffs they'll wind up letting go of a number of staff lower down the ladder which isn't listed. This will generally include a large number of people with that hidden knowledge which keeps things running, knowledge the new clueless execs will doubtlessly need to do their jobs half proficiently.

Numerous current projects will be dropped and their teams disbanded leading to a loss of investment, while numerous new projects will be started up with a large cash investment, effectively doing what what of the previously closed down projects was doing only with a different team.

The early rapid firings will lead to a sudden growth in profit as they're paying out less which will keep them lised for the 2 terms needed for that loan and get confidence back, but after that the company will begin to sink again faster than it did before.

Of course by that time the new CEO will have left, washing his hands and lauding himself for 'saving the company' even though all he did was throw it a life prserver filled with explosives which will go off at any minute.

The new CEO will come in afte rschmidt leaves, realize there's nothing they can do and run a second round of damage control to keep the company listed and looking profitable as they begin to asset strip and sell off large chunks of the company to competitors in order to keep a single core business area afloat.

And I only make this large and rather scathing prediction because it seems to happen all the time.

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FAIL

Re: Smells like a flop to me

Companies run by "execs who know what they're doing" typically don't find themselves in a situation where they don't know their P&L, can't figure out how much they spent on discounts and can't publish their accounts.

In fact this stuff is so basic that it speaks to a monumental level mismanagement.

As for the impact of the firings, I think it's a lot better to fire the guys at the top who bear responsibility for the mess, than to keep those losers on and ask them to turn the ship around. It destroys employee (and management) morale to see incompetence rewarded and the idiots who ran the company down would probably end up firing a ton of the wrong people in an attempt to show they're "good soldiers" who are aggressive about cost cutting.

As a corporate restructuring specialist, I can say this is actually the way to do it right.

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Raz

@dcaxax Re: Smells like a flop to me

Maybe so, but please enlighten me how the following:

4.New Director of Quality

5.New Senior Manager Quality Systems

6.New Director of Product Engineering

7.New Director of Software Engineering

8.New Manager Test Engineering

9.New Manager Product Compliance

you think were responsible for messed financials?

It seems to me, as the first poster said, the CEO just fired everyone and will try to sort it out later.

I also believe, quality wise, OCZ was doing what many companies seem to be doing now: don't test too many products on the line, it's expensive. Let the end user test them, and if they are bad, change them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @dcaxax Smells like a flop to me

Exactly, there's a difference between firing those responsible, and sweeping the shelf clear.

The handover in this situation is terrible, lets face it a lot of these jobs require knowledge of the company processes, documents, who is who and who does what. By wiping the upper echlons clear there are going to be very few who can handle the passover of knowledge. This means what would normally be a process of a month or so to acclimatise fully becomes much longer.

This wouldn't be so bad if they weren't in such desperate states already. But lets face it, if I organise things badly I still have a rough idea of where they are. Get somebody new in and he'll have no idea. Sure he'll straighten it out eventually but they don't need eventually they need now.

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Anonymous Coward

The same strategy worked for Apple a few years back, didn't it?

I have a PCI-E 240 GB OCZ Revodrive 3 running my home Win7 and she's a beauty. If they turn it around I'll be after more of their product.

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Meh

I've got OCZ drives and OCZ stock. Hope they turn it around. I think they make some quality products. Kind of wondering if they saw it coming or all their debts hit at once before they had their "oh crap" moment.

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Quality and return tracking could use some work.

I have 2 OCZ Agility 3 drives and I am pretty happy with them. I did however have to send one of them back after 2 weeks as after I wrote past 50% capacity of the drive it became non-readable.

Sent it back and it was replaced no questions asked which was fine however their defect/returns tracking web site constantly stated that they hadn't received the drive even though Royal Mail was telling me it was delivered over a week previously. Replacement drive just turned up one day and it has worked fine for the last 12 months

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Go

I think it is great

It is still possible to turn the ship around. He so far is doing everything required and then some. I don't believe that OZC has lost all customer confidence and that is going to be one of the required parts to resuscitating OZC.

So far what he has done is chop out bad culture. Much of a corporations culture problems stems from bad management at the top and it just gets pushed on down throughout a company. By making it clear that things have to change and whacking all the upper management it clears the way for aggressive culture change and presents the clear message that they will do anything to compete and succeed.

That kind of message and real action will see them through this. They have brought in top notch fiscal talent and management with a decent track record. There could always be improvements there but given the budget he probably has I think he min/maxed the best that he can.

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