Friday, December 12, 2008

Last EDA Vendor Standing?

Man, there's some ugly financial results being reported by almost all EDA companies lately. Take a look at Sramana Mitra's financial review.

And poor LogicVision is facing a measly $10M takeover offer, as John Ford covers in Merry Christmas… We want your company

Ms. Mitra surveys the current situation of EDA companies in the provocatively titled EDA: Bring Costello Back?. The title of the post alludes to Cadence's vacancy at the top, of course. For those of you too young to remember, Joe Costello was the charismatic and highly energetic CEO of Cadence from its founding through 1997. It's fun to reminisce about EDA's heyday and colorful characters, but it's probably wishful thinking that he'd want to come back and try to revive Cadence's business.

Meanwhile, John Cooley has a list of 47 candidates for Cadence CEO. What do you think about that list? I get his point, that he strongly believes the new leader should be an EDA veteran. But 47 names? Too unfocused. It's almost like he's name-dropping all the EDA executives he knows.

In my opinion, the best candidate might be a proven CEO or top executive of an EDA start-up, or an autonomous General Manager of an EDA company division. The candidate should be strong technically and have a track record of managing and growing the business. Not "just a Sales guy", or some VP who dropped into the company after it was already up and running. Perhaps a founder of the company, with passion and real leadership. Let's hope they find a great leader, both for the industry and the sake of chip designers everywhere.

Let's hope we don't end up with one company dominating the industry. That would be insufferable, like Ernestine the Operator's (monopoly) Telephone Company


John said...

Nice post, John - and good use of video! I think you're really getting the hang of this web 2.0 thing. I should learn by example...

I loved Sramana's wondering whether Mentor should have taken Cadence's offer, since they would probably be running the company by now :-)

It looks like LogicVision, like Mentor, is digging trenches, though.


John said...

Thanks, John!

It's not often one can work in a Laugh-In reference to EDA. :-) Might as well find some humor in these challenging times.

Sean Murphy said...

My vote was for Mike McNamara at Cadence. He is already there and he has founded two very successful EDA startups: Chronologic and Silicon Sorcery (later renamed Surefire Design Verification).

As to Mentor profiting by being part of the ongoing Cadence collapse, I don't see it. Cadence has avoided de-listing but needs strong leadership at the board level as well as executive level.

A merger would have stunned most of the workforce into introspective review, if not internecine warfare, for the better part of two years.

Sandeep said...

Here's a question lifted straight from "Only the Paranoid Survive"

If you were an outsider (not an EDA insider) and you were brought in to administer chemotherapy to the EDA industry, what would you do?

Then do it now, because the shareholders are sick an tired of EDA insiders (an attitude that has been practiced at every company/industry that has had to face a prolonged downtime - Apple anyone?)