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Aware, Inc. Message Board

  • getshortyz getshortyz Feb 20, 2008 2:18 PM Flag

    8K and Moberg

    I just assumed Moberge came back to Aware from wherever he had gone to at the end of 2003. I see he went to Crossbeam Systems and left quietly at the end of 2005. Most other press releases from Crossbeam state who was being replaced and give it the cliche "leaving to pusue other opportunities" (BTW that's what Aware used when he left) The PR just gave the bio of the the new CFO, which was impresssive.

    Looks like Moberg then came to Aware from Fenway something or other. Not sure how long he was there, 22 months or less.

    At $250K plus all the options etc. looks like a step up for Moberg.

    Ultimately it's irrelevant since he's back but doesn't it seem unusual or odd to leave, have two SHORT stints and then come back to Aware?

    How did Moberg become aware that Aware was looking for a new CFO? Who made the decision on hiring him back? Tzannes, Kerr a commitmee?

    Just like Tzannes, very unimpressive.

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    • >>>What accomplishments can he show for his years as CEO?<<<

      That question didn't come off as I intended it to. I asked it as a spoof of the exchange that took place on "Hardball".

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeu_4Ekx-o

      I did not mean this as a personal attack on MT who I'm sure is a gentleman.

    • >>>That's not incentive?<<<

      It most certainly is incentive. However threat of losing his job is even more incentive, IMO.

      Where is he going to go and make $8,000/week? What accomplishments can he show for his years as CEO?

    • >>How many times does MT buy the stock with his own money? Answer: 0. All the stock he has was given to him.<<

      MT has options to buy 1.4 million shares of stock. About 600,000 with a strike about $3, and 800,000 at $6.07. If he could build the company up to $10 a share and sell, he would be worth $7.5 million, at $20 he would net over $22 million. That's not incentive?

    • >>Autotrader had one of the best firms in the country defending them.<<

      Autotrader? Sure doesn't sound like high tech to me. What was the patent for? How many of your contingency lawyers are EEs and capable of understanding the ITU standards and the importance of AWRE and BRCM patents in implementing those standards?

    • Amen brother Calvin.

      I'll go a step further and say Kerr is to blame. Tzannes 4 years as a staff engineer at Signatron and the rest at Aware did not qualify him to be CEO. Kerr and the board took a chance on him and he has failed. Malemute where do you think Tzannes was supposed to have aquired these CEO skills you believe he has. I think broad exprience in multiple SUCCESSFUL companies in UPPER MANAGEMENT is a requisite for a CEO unless maybe you are the person who had the vision and drive to build the company in the fisrt place.

      You talk about handing the reigns over to a bean counter at some point. Whats that point? Year 20. You act like this company is 4 years old.

    • >>If your kind of CEO was in charge what would he be doing differently? Would laying off half the engineers and hiring accountants fix AWRE? Or should they ditch DSL, or maybe biometrics? It's easy to say leadership is the problem, but I have not read any specific ideas that make any sense.<<

      Don't need more accountants. Simply cut the cost by laying off some unneeded engineers. Pare down the DSL engineers to those developing VDSL3 and the minimum to support the contract revenues. DSL will not be big for a few years out, if ever. Stop pouring so much money in developing patents you do not plan to enforce. I'm sure there are a lot of other things a CEO could do to cust costs and show profits. Yet, MT really has no incentive to do so.

      How many times does MT buy the stock with his own money? Answer: 0. All the stock he has was given to him. This is why when you are looking for a good investment in a small company, one of the criteria is that the management has a LOT OF SKIN in the game. This is one of the big negatives of Aware. MT has very little skin in the game and he has very little, if any, pressure to perform for the shareholders. I can almost guarantee that if another CEO with ambition and a lot to lose was running this company, we would be much better off as shareholders.

    • >>Are they suing a large company like BRCM that has a small army of experienced tech patent lawyers? Is the suit over a technology that is covered by multiple patents?<<

      I would consider Autotrader and Juniper large enough companies. Autotrader had one of the best firms in the country defending them. The attorneys were as aggressive as litigants could possibly be. There is no question that Autotrader spent millions on their defense. They finally settled the suit giving plaintiff millions more. The downside to contingent attorneys is that you have to give away millions of the settlement but it is worth it if you are protecting your patents while minimizing the risk of loss.

      >>My point was that AWRE is not burning cash to hire additional engineers. Your point on the risk being taken to achieve less than money market returns is very valid. The only reason to be in this stock is an expectation that they can do better than that in the future.<<

      Well, that is a much different point than saying Aware is "profitable". The fact is that Aware's business has not been profitable for years and I believe another CEO could have made it profitable easily. There is no question that the fact that DSL did not show up as expected was a huge let down. However, I think MT knew there was a very good possibilty, if not probability, that the marketplace was waiting for a better VDSL product, such as VDSL3 before investing in the idea. I think he hinted to that fact a while ago.

      >>There has been some big ups and downs, but overall it looks like the business (as a whole) has grown and is healthier than it has ever been. The stock doesn't reflect that, but that is the appeal.<<

      The stock does not reflect it because the investors are sick and tired of being jerked around by MT year after year. Because you are relatively new here, you really have no idea as to the number of times MT has made promises that he couldn't deliver. Believe me when I say that MT has lost ALL credibility with investors. I am not trying to bash the stock, this is just a reality, and an expected one. In fact, I am rather surprised that investors continued to have faith in MT as long as they did.

      >>There is a point in the growth of a tech company when the reins need to be handed off from the engineers to a good bean counting CEO, but I don't think AWRE is there yet. Early on it is all about innovation and technology, which is what MT understands.<<

      If MT really does have a talent for innovation (which I am not all convinced that he does), then he could have been kept on as the President of Business Development or some such thing. He has NO BUSINESS acting as CEO. He is not at all qualified to do so and it shows in spades.

    • >>>My profit percentage is greater without using over 100 engineers and without taking ANY risk.<<<

      Kind of my point as well. What in gods name do all these guys engineer? To produce... How much? In royalty revenue? Company cash is NOT a University endowment fund to be used by faculty to perpetuate their own jobs. Lighten up and get rid of some dead weight.

      COGT

      Revenue/Employee (TTM)....647,451
      Net Income/Employee (TTM)... 177,487

      AWRE

      Revenue/Employee (TTM)... 209,825
      Net Income/Employee (TTM)... 1,278

    • >>There are many firms very willing to take cases on a contingency. I'm involved in another very small company that is doing just that.<<

      Are they suing a large company like BRCM that has a small army of experienced tech patent lawyers? Is the suit over a technology that is covered by multiple patents?

      >>My profit percentage is greater without using over 100 engineers and without taking ANY risk. The fact is that "existing cash" has EVERYTHING to do with it.<<

      My point was that AWRE is not burning cash to hire additional engineers. Your point on the risk being taken to achieve less than money market returns is very valid. The only reason to be in this stock is an expectation that they can do better than that in the future.

      >>More evidence? You already have 8 YEARS of evidence.<<

      There has been some big ups and downs, but overall it looks like the business (as a whole) has grown and is healthier than it has ever been. The stock doesn't reflect that, but that is the appeal.

      >>He is an ENGINEER, not a CEO.<<

      There is a point in the growth of a tech company when the reins need to be handed off from the engineers to a good bean counting CEO, but I don't think AWRE is there yet. Early on it is all about innovation and technology, which is what MT understands.

      >>If this company had a good leader, Aware would be getting a lot of respect in the marketplace and with investors.<<

      If your kind of CEO was in charge what would he be doing differently? Would laying off half the engineers and hiring accountants fix AWRE? Or should they ditch DSL, or maybe biometrics? It's easy to say leadership is the problem, but I have not read any specific ideas that make any sense.

    • >>Is it in the best interests of the shareholders to risk $15-25 million for a potential payback that would likely not approach that?<<

      You don't need to pay anywhere near that to sue for patent infringement. There are many firms very willing to take cases on a contingency. I'm involved in another very small company that is doing just that. If you file suit in the Eastern District of Texas, you can come to a quick resolution in front of a very well respected judge. I think the bottom line is that MT just isn't as confident about Aware's multi-million dollar portfolio as he has been saying all these years. Just another example of a poor use of resources by a poor CEO.

      >>The additional engineers are needed to support an expanding business. AWRE has been profitable the last 2 years. and expects to be more profitable in 2008 even with the higher headcount. What does "existing cash" have to do with it? <<

      Profitable? If Aware has been running a profitable business then so have I by putting money in a money market. And guess what? My profit percentage is greater without using over 100 engineers and without taking ANY risk. The fact is that "existing cash" has EVERYTHING to do with it. Without it, Aware would have gone BK a long time ago. I can't help but believe that another more competent CEO could get a lot more bang for the buck from each engineer. MT throws so much money down the toilet simply because he doesn't know how to solve a problem without throwing millions of dollars at it. That is the sign of a terrible CEO.


      >>I suppose it is possible he is just a total whack job, and makes this stuff up as he goes, but I need more evidence before buying into that theory.<<

      More evidence? You already have 8 YEARS of evidence. Just because you have only been around for a few months doesn't mean that nothing happened before you got here. MT has been wrong on almost every call he has made for the last 8 YEARS. He has been wrong so many times that the market hardly listens to this guy any more. He isn't "lying", he is just clueless, thats all. He is an ENGINEER, not a CEO.

      The only saving grace of MT (or whoever is responsible) is the different income streams Aware has been able to develop. Apparently, with all those engineers twiddling their thumbs, someone got some ideas of how their technology could be applied to different areas. I do not automatically give credit to MT for the biometrics and T&D businesses. If this company had a good leader, Aware would be getting a lot of respect in the marketplace and with investors. As it is, we are all just hoping Aware gets lucky.

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