Author Topic: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO  (Read 39371 times)

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Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:54:29 am »
Altium's founder and CEO Nick Martin has been booted out of the company after 25years:
http://asx.com.au/asxpdf/20121015/pdf/429d1tpbcp23rj.pdf

I guess the board could only take so much...

Dave.
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 09:24:01 am »
So, what's Nick going to do now I wonder?
Suddenly out of a job after 25 years.
Suggestions?

Dave.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 12:18:18 pm »
The easy answer is consulting while waiting for another job, is so desired.   If you've reached CEO status the trick is to milk it for all its worth because there may not be a second job, and thereafter, retire.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 01:50:27 pm »
It kind of seems that once you have reached CEO, even if you run a company into the ground, there seems to be a CEO position available for you somewhere.  I don't think I understand that, because I'm rooted in logic, rather than MBA sideways speech.
 

Offline enz

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 02:21:03 pm »
I wonder why this "Only for personal use" watermark is on this official document. Any ideas?
 

Online IanB

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 02:35:56 pm »
But will there be a change of strategy?

Quote
Altium has positioned itself on a path to transform itself from a traditional software company to a "software as a service company" that embraces the web. This has been achieved through the active pursuit of content driven subscription strategy and the acquisition of the required web-related technologies and their subsequent development direction.

The press release says the board wants to focus on returning the company to profitability, yet this seems to be a continuation of the same direction as before.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 02:50:30 pm »
So, what's Nick going to do now I wonder?
Suddenly out of a job after 25 years.
Suggestions?

Dave.

Join another company. E.g. DipTrace. :P

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 02:57:46 pm »
weird, is it me or do all PR releases like these always seem use the same words?    Is there like some MS Office Word Add-In Wizard in the premium edition that allows you auto generate these ? ;-)
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 03:00:14 pm »
It depends on the legacy of your previous charge, why did he step down?  Who would want a CEO who ran his/her previous company into the ground? aka Carly Fiorna of HP/Agilent or  John Sculley of Apple?  If you read their histories CEO either open their own companies or join Boards for their advise, but not their executive potential.

It kind of seems that once you have reached CEO, even if you run a company into the ground, there seems to be a CEO position available for you somewhere.  I don't think I understand that, because I'm rooted in logic, rather than MBA sideways speech.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 03:35:07 pm »
Dave, you should apply for the job!  ;D ;D ;D

Alexander.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 04:07:02 pm »
Dave can't, he actually does know something about the products the company makes.........
 

Offline billclay

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 04:46:13 pm »
So, what's Nick going to do now I wonder?
Suddenly out of a job after 25 years.
Suggestions?

Dave.

CEOBlog.com

 ;D
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 04:25:15 am »
Ideally he would come back to Aus with a stack of cash, and fund a sparky little start-up company making CAD software that people actually want to use, with none of the add-on crap that turns decent products into bloatware.


Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 05:16:56 am »
Quote
Altium has positioned itself on a path to transform itself from a traditional software company to a "software as a service company" that embraces the web. This has been achieved through the active pursuit of content driven subscription strategy and the acquisition of the required web-related technologies and their subsequent development direction.

The press release says the board wants to focus on returning the company to profitability, yet this seems to be a continuation of the same direction as before.

The third paragraph (can't seem to copy it) effectively says that the former CEO did not focus on returning value for the company. i.e. didn't give a toss if it made money or not.
They didn't like his direction, so they booted him.
Funny thing is, I think the entire China/cloud/software-as-service crap was Nick's idea to begin with (as almost everything within the company is/was). Now they want to continue that rubbish?
I think what they really mean here is to continue with the "subscription" thing because it generates consistent revenue. And my guess is they will translate that more and more into "renting" the software instead of owning it. That will work, because the loyal customer will have no option but to take it up the arse if they want updates.
They will try and do the same thing with libraries and "content", but that will be an utter failure, as it has been already.

Dave.
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 05:18:24 am »
Join another company. E.g. DipTrace. :P

Join?
He could buy them.
And it's written in Delphi just like Altium, so he'd feel right at home!

Dave.
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2012, 05:22:57 am »
Ideally he would come back to Aus with a stack of cash, and fund a sparky little start-up company making CAD software that people actually want to use, with none of the add-on crap that turns decent products into bloatware.

But it was all his idea to turn it into bloatware to begin with!
But maybe he'll have an epiphany and realise he can "go back to his roots" and start with affordable and usable PCB/SCH software.
According this this:
http://asx.com.au/asxpdf/20121016/pdf/429dsydwgzyqm4.pdf
He has about 22.5M shares still. At the current $0.70 price that's about $15.7M worth.
A far cry short of the approx quarter of a billion $ he was once worth, but still a tidy sum.

Dave.
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2012, 05:23:59 am »
I wonder why this "Only for personal use" watermark is on this official document. Any ideas?

Most likely just standard legal disclaimer crap.
i.e. don't use this as professional legal advice etc

Dave.
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2012, 11:33:20 pm »
The real-life soap opera continues folks!
http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20121023/pdf/429l0tb5qr8dj6.pdf

Dave.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 12:21:07 am »
He has only 20% of the shares, so it might be hard to get back in.

funny thing, over the last 2 years the shareprice has suddenly started doing well. So now they kick him out.





 

Offline gregariz

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 12:33:52 am »
Typically you would need a 3/4 vote to remove the board. Mind you it depends who shows up to vote. When a guy with 20% shows up and nobody else...
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 11:06:56 pm »
Maybe Nick Martin and a few of the software engineers that were retrenched in the China move could write that low cost schematic/pcb tool that everyone has been crying out for?
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 12:32:29 am »
Maybe Nick Martin and a few of the software engineers that were retrenched in the China move could write that low cost schematic/pcb tool that everyone has been crying out for?

Not gonna happen.
it would take several years just to get the basics working from scratch.
The only sensible way would be to buy an existing package so you have a head-start. Or maybe even build up one of the open source packages and figure out a way to make money from services etc like RedHat et.al

Dave.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 01:10:15 am »
Quote
And my guess is they will translate that more and more into "renting" the software instead of owning it. That will work, because the loyal customer will have no option but to take it up the arse if they want updates.
The "rental" model is far worse than that - they have to take it buttwise just to keep using the software, not just for updates - IMO completely unacceptable for any software tool that may be needed to support legacy products.
Quote
it would take several years just to get the basics working from scratch.
I disagree that it would take anything like that long - with the advanced software tools and graphics libraries etc. that are now available, there'd be far less work on the fiddly graphics and UI stuff than in the past, the major work would be designing a good architecture. A bit like PCB layout really - with good placement, the layout's easy. Whether it would be financially viable is a whole 'nother question of course.

Quote
The real-life soap opera continues folks!
"You're fired" "
"No, you're fired"
 "No, you're fired"
etc.....
 
Maybe ask him on the Amp Hour to vent...!

 
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Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 01:24:58 am »
Quote
And my guess is they will translate that more and more into "renting" the software instead of owning it. That will work, because the loyal customer will have no option but to take it up the arse if they want updates.
The "rental" model is far worse than that - they have to take it buttwise just to keep using the software, not just for updates - IMO completely unacceptable for any software tool that may be needed to support legacy products.

Yeah. The old 'maintenance contract' was a real pain in the arse. Mentor Graphics knew how to screw customers royally with that one!


Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Online EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Nick Martin booted out as Altium CEO
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 02:29:45 am »
I disagree that it would take anything like that long - with the advanced software tools and graphics libraries etc. that are now available, there'd be far less work on the fiddly graphics and UI stuff than in the past, the major work would be designing a good architecture. A bit like PCB layout really - with good placement, the layout's easy. Whether it would be financially viable is a whole 'nother question of course.

I suspect the devil is in the detail.
Just look at the other lower end basic packages like DIPtrace and Eagle, they are examples of maybe a decade(?) of development to get to their current point.
Altium itself took a similar length of time to get what most would now consider "basic" EDA functionality.
AutoTrax EDA (not the Protel one, the other one) is a benchmark example of what one guy can do on his own over maybe a decade or so.
Sure, it might be easier starting from scratch today, but I suspect it's impossible to get anything decently usable from scratch in less than a couple of years with a small team of programmers, say 3-4.
Sure, you could have something to show in 6 months, but it wouldn't be usable to anyone.

Dave.
 


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