Jeff Beck. Have you noticed that wherever this guy is, things go right? He joined iRobot about 3 years ago and put in charge of Home products. Home products goes gangbusters and is what saved iRobot in the face of a catastrophic collapse in D&S revenues.
About a year ago, he was made Chief Operating Officer and oversees these three divisions:
1) Home Products
2) Defense and Security
3) Emerging products
Each division has a new head that reports to Jeff.
D&S has definitely bottomed and is now recovering. IRobot seems to have a new strength in international defense/security markets. Emerging products has generated a ton of excitement with RP-Vita and AVA 500. Maybe it's my imagination at work, but Jeff Beck makes things happen. And the other benefit is that Colin is free to do his job without worrying about how well the company's day-to-day stuff is executed. Colin can concentrate on the long term stuff and on bringing about deals.
Have you ever heard of James Couzins? Before he joined The Ford Motor Company in 1903 as COO, it was just another car company going up against 100s of competitors. Couzins ran the company's operations much better than Henry Ford, and allowed Ford to concentrate on engineering the best possible car, and work on the long term vision of the company. Ford was a perfectionist and this slowed up the release of new models. Couzins forced Ford to send the cars out eventhough they weren't perfect. The Dealership Model provided the service to keep the cars on the road.
I think Jeff Beck is making a key difference at iRobot.