20th Dec 2012

Philip Mezey's First 100 Days at Itron

Itron is a publicly traded global technology company with over 9,000 employees worldwide. It provides metering services that measure and manage natural gas, water and electricity. Last year Itron generated sales of $2.4 billion. On 20 November it was announced that in January 2013, Philip Mezey (52) will take over as president and CEO of Itron Inc.

According to the Spokesman-Review, Jon Eliasson (chairman of the board of directors) said of the search for a new CEO “We looked inside (the company) and outside. Philip was our clear choice to lead Itron and pave the way for continued growth”. Mezey has been COO of the company´s global energy unit since March 2011. And he is familiar with the ethos of the company since he has been at Itron since 2003. At this time he was hired as managing director of Software Development of Itron´s energy management solutions group.

On the company website Mezey reveals his plan for global expansion. “Our industry is extending beyond its metering past and present; I truly believe Itron is the company that can define the next phase of this industry. I’m honored and excited to lead Itron forward and continue to grow its business around the world.”

Mezey will  take over from LeRoy Nosbaum who was interim CEO since 2011. Nosbaum will remain on hand as a consultant for the first 6 months of Mezey´s term.

For any leader, the first 100 days of a new role appointment are filled with anxiety and anticipation. He or she can expect a number of universal challenges. The internal appointee, particularly one whose role predecessor remains with the organisation, will face a unique set of challenges.

Firstly, Mezey will have to detach fully from his previous role and focus fully on his new role. He is a known entity within Itron, and he may find it difficult to do this. But, accelerating performance from the get-go is vital for early and lasting success.

Secondly, he will need to deal effectively with Nosbaum. Making changes can be difficult with one’s predecessor still around. Mezey will need to be upfront, and request the space and freedom to effect change.

Finally, Mezey will need a detailed first 100 days plan. This will keep him focused, so he can make a meaningful impact, fast.

Hilda Goold

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