Back to the Future

Finally, the writer agreed to meet with the employee interview team of the MGC PCB Division on Zanker Road in mid-December 1989. An offer was extended between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and yours truly was on the job in early January 1990 in time to attend the annual Mentor Graphics Worldwide Sales Kickoff in Oregon.

Dr. Henke (1989)

Thus began the four consecutive years of PCB Division progress briefly described in paragraph two of the Prologue. During those years, the PCB Division succeeded in achieving the worldwide leading market share in both 1992 and 1993.

Some of the PCB Division’s 1990 – 1993 accomplishments:

  • The first order of business for the new GM in January 1990 was tackled immediately. Using techniques he had learned in his previous 22 years of management experience, Henke stabilized and strengthened the Division management team within a few months, with minimum but not zero turnover; reconciled warring factions among division functions, instilled a new sense of collective urgency; began identifying outside personnel who might be recruited going forward; re-established positive relationships between San Jose and Company HQ in Oregon; and began energizing the worldwide MGC sales force to focus on PCB Division software products.
  • As a result, the PCB Division profitably grew revenues by 18% in 1990. We simultaneously completed the Company’s first applications software product suite running on MGC’s revolutionary 8.0 Concurrent Object Oriented Framework, and we met every subsequent 8.X release date on time throughout the 1990-1992 period. We were also the first MGC division to get its software ported from purely Apollo workstations to SUN, HP700’s, DIGITAL, IBM RS6000, and other workstations, thereby enhancing the size of the available MGC PCB market.
  • We introduced and packaged new products into emerging markets, to create incremental PCB revenue. These products, such as MCM STATION and BOARDSTATION 500, subsequently won MILTON S. KIVER innovation awards.
  • We converted all PCB software (over one million lines) from PASCAL to C++ code, smoothly and transparently on the fly to 4000 users. We also introduced automated software quality test suites and the SEI self-assessment process to improve productivity of S/W development processes. (Kudos to Bob Vincent, et al).
  • We set up new, innovative marketing programs (PCB Snap-On Tools, PCB Million Dollar Sales Club, Silicon Valley Solutions Expositions, new Sales Kits, Videotapes, self-paced interactive CD demo suites, etc.).
  • Sensing little corporate appetite for PCB-related acquisitions, we aggressively supplemented our PCB functionality via key OEM deals, with Quad Design for signal integrity, Cooper & Chyan for advanced gridless routing of PCB’s, Texas Instruments, SDRC, MITRON, ITI and others. We also partnered with Dassault Systemes to link CATIA to PCB Cable Station. Early thermal analysis was also offered.

  • We established “MCM foundry” relationships with MMS, Sorep, AT&T, Hughes, Toshiba, etc. We formed a dedicated Conversion Services Team (to win business from customers using legacy code, or code from competition). In addition, we formed the highly-effective and aggressive PCB Division Benchmark Team. (Benchmarking was still a critical step in a prospect’s purchasing process in those days). Twice we entered, competed in and won the Printed Circuit Board Magazine multi-vendor benchmarks.
  • We expanded the Technology Leadership Awards program that recognized customer PCB designers for innovative use of MGC PCB tools to overcome tough technical challenges. The PCB Division GM traveled to nearby or distant customer sites with the respective MGC sales teams, for formal presentations of these Awards, such as the presentation by GM Henke to Siemens Plessey Radar on the Isle of Wight, UK, shown below:

    The Technology Leadership Awards Program still exists at MGC today.
  • We identified, proposed, negotiated and landed MGC’s first-ever DARPA contract, for $6.3 million, to support a team of ten PCB expert engineers for 30 months of advanced s/w product development on MCM’s within the PCB Division.
  • We increased our emphasis on the Silicon Valley community and participated in multiple charitable benefits for non-profits.

The PCB Division team actively supported the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, initiating the annual Silicon Valley CEO NIGHT at the Symphony on behalf of Mentor Graphics. Early 1990's guest conductors for CEO Nights at the Symphony included, among others, composers and artists Bert Bacharach (below left), Peter Nero, and Henri Mancini (below right).

  • We moved both the PCB Division and the local sales team from two older, separated buildings on Zanker Road to a new MGC SILICON VALLEY HQ Building on Ridder Park Drive in May 1992. The GM became Site Executive and was the principal spokesperson for MGC in the Silicon Valley among press, customers, vendors, employees, analysts, and shareholders.

    At the new building’s dedication ceremony in mid-1992, we were pleased to have in attendance the then-current Mayor of San Jose Susan Hammer, as well as MGC founder and then CEO Tom Bruggere.
  • Finally, via the innovative programs described above, and the willingness of the GM and his direct reports to travel worldwide to any customer with the MGC sales force, we grew PCB Division Revenues during ’90-’92 by +12% CAGR, while the PCB market was declining "minus 6%" per year, and while MGC overall revenue was "minus 11%" per year!
  • The Regional Manager of Sales Ms. Wendy Reeves Dunn and PCB GM Dr. Henke worked together over several years in driving revenues for the PCB Division.


Appendix II


Steady and Modest Growth Mark May 2011 Sales for Semiconductor Industry

by Email Contact

On July 5, 2011 the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors were $25 billion for the month of May 2011, a (mere) 1.8% increase from the prior month when sales were $24.6 billion, and a 1.3% growth from May 2010. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.

"Taking into consideration macroeconomic factors impacting consumer confidence, the steady but modest growth that the industry demonstrated in May is encouraging,” said Brian Toohey, president, Semiconductor Industry Association. “Global demand for high-end electronics, the continuing proliferation of semiconductor technology into a wider range of products, growth in emerging economies and better than expected recovery from the Japan earthquake will be continued drivers of industry growth in 2011."

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