26th Jun 2012

Rambus announces new CEO

Rambus Inc yesterday named Ronald Black the new president, chief executive officer and director. Black will succeed Harold Hughes who was head of the technology licensing company since 2005. While Hughes is retiring, he will remain on the board of directors.

Rambus is currently in trouble, having lost about 70% of its market value since the end of last year. The company lost a $4 billion lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. No doubt high hopes are pinned on Black. Chairman of the Rambus Board of Directors, J. Thomas Bentley said yesterday that “Ron’s experience in managing through complex businesses at various levels and helping them achieve objectives makes him an excellent fit for the next phase of Rambus”.

Black has over 20 years experience; he was previously CEO for MobiWire, was an executive vice president at Agere Systems, and has held senior management roles in companies such as Motorola and IBM Microelectronics. He holds a Bachelor of Science, a Masters of Science, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University.

Still, Black is facing into a challenging first 100 days. All hopes are on him, as are many eyes. It is crucial that he demonstrates his leadership effectiveness from day one.  The company will be seeking guidance and needing a new direction. The key for Black, is to anticipate and predict what the challenges he will face are most likely to be. Then he will be well equipped to deal effectively with them.

For a successful first 100 days it is best to start with the end in mind. Black will want to outline his key strategic priorities, and then remain focused on them throughout. Sound easy? Its not! This is a stressful time, during which a lot must be learned, fast, and during which a lot of distractions will throw themselves up in the way.

The most effective means of staying on track during the first 100 days is with the help of a detailed first 100 days plan. It is an invaluable tool for keeping the newly appointed leader focused during this challenging period. With the help of a strong plan, Black should accelerate his performance early, ensuring success from the get-go. We will be watching his progress with great interest.

Hilda Goold

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