OMM: Changes Up Top

MEMS subsystem manufacturer Optical Micro Machines Inc. (OMM) announced this morning that its CEO Hus Tigli has quit. Philip Chapman, its CFO, has assumed the position on a permanent basis (see OMM Replaces CEO).

Until this morning, Tigli was busy guiding OMM through the twists and turns of the startup maze. Now, all of a sudden, he's gone. "It's been an abrupt change," notes Conrad Burke, OMM's senior VP of sales and marketing.

Luckily for OMM, there was an obvious replacement candidate. Chapman is an unusual mix of a financial whiz with a technical background in applied physics. He joined OMM in May 1999 as its chief financial officer. Before that he served eight years as CFO of Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP), where he oversaw the company's initial public offering. He also worked at Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Spectra-Physics Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLI), and Syntellect Inc. (Nasdaq: SYNL), which he also took public.

Chapman's credentials look solid enough in case OMM revisits the IPO scene. OMM originally filed for a $100 million IPO back in September 2000 (see OMM Files for an IPO). Although an ill-tempered stock market forced it to shelve its IPO last month (see IPO Window Shuts Tighter), the setback is only temporary, according to Burke.

Chapman joined OMM two months after Tigli, who came on board in March 1999.

Tigli was formerly senior VP of the telecommunciations, industrial, and energy group at Raychem. He joined the Raychem division when it was just 30 people, and stayed with it as it became a 3500-strong venture. But he appeared to lack the specific financial expertise that can make or break a company in these parlous times. OMM refuses to comment on why Tigli decided to leave or where he's gone. But he appears to have left the company, which, nonetheless, maintains the No. 1 spot on Light Reading's list of Top Ten Private Companies. It lays claim to that position in good part because it has customers and revenue. Financially, it's difficult to determine when the company will have to land more financing, now that the IPO market has gone cold. Burke claims that enough of the $100 million originally raised from private investors is left to carry the company through the tough times.

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

Me 12/4/2012 | 8:37:30 PM
re: OMM: Changes Up Top Have these guys shipped any big 3D switches?? What sizes?? What's the trajectory??
Pauline Rigby 12/4/2012 | 8:37:29 PM
re: OMM: Changes Up Top Conrad Burke told me that OMM's first 3D subsystems would be sampling early this quarter. In other words, in the next month. Not sure what size.

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jssreenath 12/4/2012 | 8:37:21 PM
re: OMM: Changes Up Top Would the article be so cheery if Cisco was the subject company? We all know the answer to that, but that is not the point here...I am seeing a lot of OMM resumes floating around the airwaves.... For that reason, I dont believe the cheery outlook provided by our friends at lightreading. If dumping your CEO (or having him quit) was as good as LR makes it sound, everyone would be doing it. One thing remains certain; you can be sure that no matter what happens, OMM will be number one on the private company list...even when the next round of funding comes in at a substantially lower share price than the round last year and they end up a private company with a billion shares.

bwells37 12/4/2012 | 8:34:13 PM
re: OMM: Changes Up Top Are they still a company? I heard a rumor...
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