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Posts tagged: LeRoy Nosbaum

Itron’s next CEO offers management ideas online, via HBR.org

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.

Itron selects from inside, choosing Philip Mezey to replace LeRoy Nosbaum

About 20 months ago Itron (based in Liberty Lake) announced Malcolm Unsworth would take over as CEO from longtime top guy LeRoy Nosbaum.

That didn't last too long. In September 2011 the company board brought back Nosbaum and asked him to right the ship. Nosbaum said at the time he'd only be aboard as long as it took to get results and help find a successor.

Monday the board chose the successor, Phillip Mezey, who has been with Itron since 2003 and has been 2003. president and chief operating officer for Itron’s Global Energy segment since March 2011.

The 2009 photo above is one of Unsworth on the left, Mezey on the right. Mezey was not yet head of Global Energy at Itron.  Does anyone know where Unsworth is today?

Itron is a maker of software, services and meters for electric, gas and electric utilities.

Nosbaum steps down agains on Dec. 31 but will remain a consultant with Itron and assist Mezey as he moves on with the job. Mezey will also become board president after Jan. 1.

Investors remain concerned and hopeful; in 2010 Itron shares lifted off into the high $70 range and then started a long retreat. In fall of 2011 the price per share dropped to around $34.

Since then, the share price is up, but only in the $40-41 range, and investors and customers are hoping to see Itron battle back and have Mezey work some magic with new deals and with existing customers.

Itron regains investor confidence by announcing major layoffs, factory closures worldwide

Itron Inc.'s board brought back retired CEO LeRoy Nosbaum this year  in part to help correct the company's plunging stock price over the past 14 months.

Despite kinda scary 3Q earnings (see below for details), Nosbaum has begun to fix that issue.

The publicly traded stock gained more than $3 on Wednesday after Itron officials announced tghey will undertake a massive restructuring. It will close six production sites, most of them in Europe and Latin America. One unidentified US site will also be closed and one in Asia as well.

It will also lay off 7.5 percent of its global workforce, about 750 jobs.  

Also relevant to the stock uptick: Itron also announced on Wednesday it will repurchase  up to $100 million of Itron common stock during the next 12 months.

“This program reaffirms our commitment to increasing shareholder value and underscores our confidence in the long-term prospects of the company,” said Nosbaum in a press release.

The good local news: Liberty Lake, with about 500 workers, is not affected by the layoffs, Nosbaum said in an interview.

Itron is considered the leading manufacturer of metering systems and software services for the utility industry.

Layoffs will be either in the closed production sites or seven other facilities that will downsize.

At the same time, the goal is to increase overall production capacity by consolidating work and investing money in new technology at other key production sites, said Barbara Doyle, vice president of investor relations for Itron.

“We will move work to other sites and actually be adding workers to provide more production capacity” than Itron now has, Doyle said. She said the increased production will come online in 2013.

The sites to be shut down in Europe include some acquired by Itron in 2007 when it bought Brussels-based Actaris Metering Systems.

Say a big welcome back to LeRoy Nosbaum, Itron’s ‘new’ CEO

The SR posted this story a few minutes ago, announcing the return of former CEO LeRoy Nosbaum, to the same job at Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc.

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