Office Hours

Itron's next CEO offers management ideas online, via

On Monday Itron Inc. announced that Philip Mezey, who's been at Itron since 2003, will step into the CEO and president's role at the end of the year. He's taking over for LeRoy Nosbaum, who is retiring for the second time in three years.

Nosbaum retired in 2009 and then came back in late 2011 to fill in as interim CEO. Nosbaum said at the time he would help until the next CEO of Itron was found.

Mezey, 52, joined Itron after being one of the principals at Silicon Energy, which Itron acquired in early 2003. He was VP of product development for the company, which developed apps and software tools for large customers and utilities.

Mezey said in an interview this week he knows the CEO job at Itron is demanding. The job he's held at Itron, COO of the energy group, has kept him busy traveling. "Traveling is pretty much my full-time job," Mezey said. The CEO's job will be just as itinerant.

When he doesn't travel, those days he considers his happy breaks from the routine.

He's busy enough that Mezey doesn't have a home in the Spokane area, he said. He still maintains a home in Northern California, where Silicon Energy was based.

As a stroke of timing, Harvard Business Review's online site Monday ran an opinion piece today by Mezey, titled "A New CEO's Reinvention Road Map." Mezey offers comments there on why he subscribes to the notion that a company has to balance maintaining its core assets while also committing to making big changes.

All I know is, if I worked at Itron, I'd go to the HBR site and post some serious apple-polishing comments. Seriously, guys, here's your new CEO offering some major thoughts and as of Tuesday, not one person has posted a response.

You can thank me later for the suggestion.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.




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