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Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) Message Board

  • Ray_Bowman Ray_Bowman Feb 2, 2007 10:59 AM Flag

    Lai's Duties -- more than OUM?

    <<<Ovonyx, Inc. ('Ovonyx') is pleased to announce that Dr. Stefan Lai has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development. In this capacity Dr. Lai will provide direct support to Ovonyx and its licensee joint development partners in various new and pre-existing programs in pursuit of Ovonyx OUMTM phase-change nonvolatile memory technology.>>>

    Just musing, but I wonder if those activities by Lai are all that is contemplated for him? At present, the programs for the licensees � essentially all the major semiconductor companies � are in full swing; and Lowrey might well be over-tasked. So, someone like Lai can be a great help. But, do they expect the R&D for OUM memory applications to continue at this high level for many years to come? Could be, I guess. But, I�m wondering if Ovonyx is not also being positioned to take on some additional ECD tech commercialization. The OTS, which should have many applications, would be a logical addition, since Lai obviously was responsible for OTS use in Intel�s OUM product entries. (BTW, it would seem that Ovonyx must have at least a non-exclusive for the OTS tech, with rights to sub-license, since there has been no mention of a specific license for the OTS to Intel � that is, Intel appears to have rights by way of their OUM package of IP).

    Further, ECD has been talking about chalcogenide-based computer chips. Lowrey and Lai and Co. could well make a potent team to stimulate and exploit numerous applications for several of ECD�s emerging products. I can see a possibility for Ovonyx to garner some large bucks from investments by some major semiconductor firm(s) � with ECD contributing more tech to maintain a large ownership share. But, there are other possibilities for ECD to commercialize its optical switch, OTS, OQC, and OCC � I just had not thought about Ovonyx being a major vehicle beyond OUM.

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    • Why doesnt someone ask Bob Stempel at the next CC. We all know that Bob answers shareholder inquiries fully and fairly and imparts as much information as he can.

    • Ray,

      << But, do they expect the R&D for OUM memory applications to continue at this high level for many years to come? Could be, I guess. But, I�m wondering if Ovonyx is not also being positioned to take on some additional ECD tech commercialization. >>

      << But, there are other possibilities for ECD to commercialize its optical switch, OTS, OQC, and OCC � I just had not thought about Ovonyx being a major vehicle beyond OUM. >>

      ECD and Ovonyx needs focus, commercial success, and sustained profitability more than a new set of opportunities to pursue - IMO. A profitable ECD and Ovonyx will be in a much better position to pursue the other opportunities.

      I'm hoping that Lowery will demonstrate the necessary discipline. It seems Stan's curiousity always got the best of him and consequently ECD has failed to focus attention and resources on opportunities that might have achieved commercial success sooner. The NiMH battery business is a good example. License and royalty income helped keep ECD alive but for all the ground-breaking work on NiMH batteries - it hasn't generated a lot of revenue or become a profitable business for them.

      You apparently want to "stay the course" with Stan's old approach. But it's time for a new strategy - and it has a name - commercialization to achieve sustained profitability. This will ensure the needs of ALL STAKEHOLDERS (employees, customers, vendors, the community the company operates in and SHAREHOLDERS) will be served. For much of its existence management has overserved some stakeholders and underserved others.

      Regards,
      Snoz

      • 1 Reply to justsnoz
      • >>> But, there are other possibilities for ECD to commercialize its optical switch, OTS, OQC, and OCC � I just had not thought about Ovonyx being a major vehicle beyond OUM. <<< (Ray)

        >>ECD and Ovonyx needs focus, commercial success, and sustained profitability more than a new set of opportunities to pursue - IMO. A profitable ECD and Ovonyx will be in a much better position to pursue the other opportunities.<< (snoz)

        They will surely be better off when they are profitable � and they are obviously (OBVIOUSLY!!!) focused on reaching that status � WITHOUT IGNORING OTHER EXTREMLY IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS. They have frequently reminded us that they intended to carry on, and they are, �right-sized� efforts on the various other technologies (some of which efforts are at the mere maintenance level). They have deep under standing of and sharp focus on the trade-offs involved, and NO ONE here � definitely including you � has remotely enough information and savvy to legitimately criticize their decisions. In particular, vague speculating about lack of proper focus � based on some �text-book� rules of thumb considerations � does not �cut it� as a worthy criticism.

        Snoz, if you had been running ECD, I think it would have died within a few years. You show NO genuine understanding of R&D&C � which is utterly different than the vast majority of all other businesses.

        >>I'm hoping that Lowery will demonstrate the necessary discipline. It seems Stan's curiousity always got the best of him and consequently ECD has failed to focus attention and resources on opportunities that might have achieved commercial success sooner.<<

        That�s only your view, not facts. And, what commercial success could realistically have been achieved sooner? You chose to suggest this:

        >>The NiMH battery business is a good example. License and royalty income helped keep ECD alive but for all the ground-breaking work on NiMH batteries - it hasn't generated a lot of revenue or become a profitable business for them.<<

        Please explain � given the actualities of what they faced, not relying on hindsight -- how you think they could have done better.

        >>You apparently want to "stay the course" with Stan's old approach. But it's time for a new strategy - and it has a name - commercialization to achieve sustained profitability.<<

        What you suggest is what they have been/are doing!! I have diligently examined ECD�s past and experienced the nearer term and present � from a significant background in Science/Engineering/tech-business. And, I see what is clear and obvious: ECD has always striven for full commercialization of highly innovative and game-changing technologies, and they are doing as well as any informed, intelligent person can expect; given the actual, very-difficult circumstances of their history and present situation.

    • Am I correct that Stefan Lai was the CTO for Intel Corporation? If that is true, I cannot imagine that there would be enough in Ovonyx as it is currently presented to absorb his horizon of vision.

      The first post I made on the SI board something like ten years ago concerns the on-going succession challenge at ECD. Stan is an Edisonian figure. As Jefferson said to French when they asked him if he were Franklin's "replacement:" "No one can replace Franklin, but I am here to succeed him." Who could be the genius, the full-blown mensch to take over the helm from Stan? Not Metzger, who is a good man, but doesn't have that world citizen presence of Stan. Dennis Corrigan (?-sp), possibly, because he is so deligtful. Sudhendu? Also possible because he is a man of such striking inventiveness and humility simultaneously. Nancy? A strong "Maybe." Young, dynamic, at ease with Presidents of the US, knowlegable about every aspect of the business. Tyler? I don't think so. Too thoroughly (and wonderfully!) a technologist. Stefan Lai? At the moment, I'd give that thoughtful consideration. World class in every sense. "Gonnected," to use F. Scott Fitzgerald's terminology. Why is he now so thorougly in Stan's orbit? Is it temporary? I hope not! If it's permanent, it's big, and I think it's bigger than Ovonxy.

      • 1 Reply to qabbalahman
      • >>Am I correct that Stefan Lai was the CTO for Intel Corporation?<< (qabbalahman)

        He was A CTO for Intel, which probably has quite a few of those. Here is what the announcement says (****s added):

        <<<Prior to joining Ovonyx, Stefan Lai was ****Vice President of the Flash Memory Group and CTO & Co-Director of California Manufacturing and Technology at Intel Corporation****. During his 24 year career at Intel, Lai played a critical role in establishing Intel's leadership position in NOR Flash memory, by co-inventing the industry-standard ETOX flash memory cell and developing nine successive generations of the product.>>>

        Note that he was VP of the Flash memory group. No upward mobility for him from that position at this time? And, that operation is up for sale, anyway. So, I see no particular mystery as to why Lai would be amenable to joining Ovonyx.

        >>If that is true, I cannot imagine that there would be enough in Ovonyx as it is currently presented to absorb his horizon of vision.<<

        Its way too early to foreclose on any particular view of what is eventually planned for Lai. All we know now is this:

        <<<[Ovonyx] is pleased to announce that Dr. Stefan Lai has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development. In this capacity Dr. Lai will provide direct support to Ovonyx' and its licensee joint development partners in various new and pre-existing programs in pursuit of Ovonyx OUMTM phase-change nonvolatile memory technology.>>>

        That describes what Tyler has been/is doing. So, my speculation is stimulated by why a more-or-less doubling of that activity is warranted. In addition to the possibilities mentioned earlier, Tyler might be planning to move to the Ovonic Cognitive Computer company -- if funding is expected soon for that venture (Stan has indicated a few times that the OCC has been getting serious interest). This speculation, too, is just for contemplation, of course.

        >>Who could be the genius, the full-blown mensch to take over the helm from Stan? Not Metzger, who is a good man, but doesn't have that world citizen presence of Stan. Dennis Corrigan (?-sp), possibly, because he is so deligtful. Sudhendu? Also possible because he is a man of such striking inventiveness and humility simultaneously. Nancy? A strong "Maybe." Young, dynamic, at ease with Presidents of the US, knowlegable about every aspect of the business. Tyler? I don't think so. Too thoroughly (and wonderfully!) a technologist. Stefan Lai? At the moment, I'd give that thoughtful consideration. World class in every sense. "Gonnected," to use F. Scott Fitzgerald's terminology. Why is he now so thorougly in Stan's orbit? Is it temporary? I hope not! If it's permanent, it's big, and I think it's bigger than Ovonxy.>>

        As you suggested, there is no replacement for Stan. But, each activity at ECD has high-quality talent that can carry on the various developments � likely at a reduced rate, depending on the specific activity. And, Stan�s activity as Lab Director would not necessarily require amazing technical prowess.

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      Ray, <<< Just musing, but I wonder ,,,,,,,,,>>>
      You are on the right track,Ray, but let me carrier it futher. Stefan Lai is a very high profile manager at Intel and the semiconductor industry in general. He has been active in representing Intel throughout the years in various conferances held world wide. His achivements at Intel have been outstanding for a man of his age and this move to Ovonyx can only be in a positive light for he comes with the blessings of Intel to advance their 39% ownership interest. Now, holding the title of V.P. Business Development at Ovonyx, he will become their center of pomoting their various interest going forward. Surely, he is greatly endorced by Tylor Lowrey as a perfect fit, as they build a new managment team. I feel this is just a steping stone and look forward to following his outstanding career..

 
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