Avid’s years of cutbacks and cost-cutting could be over, with the company’s incoming chief executive outlining a “pure growth” strategy for the manufacturer.
Louis Hernandez, who has been a member of Avid’s board since 2008, took over as chief executive earlier this week after Gary Greenfield stepped down from the role.
Greenfield has now joined Avid’s board of directors.
Hernandez said he would continue to try to build a “growth-minded team”, following the January appointment of former Grass Valley sales chief Jeff Rosica to the role of senior vice-president of worldwide field operations.
“That will take care of the operational aspects and we will also capture the energy of our clients,” Hernandez said.
“Content is king but the way it is distributed is changing.
“We have to make sure we have a team that can meet those challenges technologically and show the market that we can do it better and less expensively than others.”
Hernandez said that having served as Avid’s lead director for the past year he had got to know a lot of Avid’s customers.
“We have something that most technology companies don’t have, which is an unbelievably emotional following, and we need to capture that energy.”
Hernandez acknowledged that not all of that “energy” from customers had been positive.
“We have a lot of fans who rave about us, but like most close-knit families, there is a lot of expectation around how we interact.
“Maybe not everyone is happy, but a huge majority are, and a large portion are much happier than they were five years ago.”
Hernandez defended Greenfield’s five-year tenure, which was characterised by the sale of Avid’s consumer audio and video units, the shedding of around 1,000 jobs and a drop in share price from $37.39 to a low of $5.87.
“Gary came in at a very different time to me,” Hernandez said.
“It was during the global financial crisis and early on in the company’s transition, when a lot of costs were taken out and big investments in technology were made.
“I have been brought in for pure growth; there will be less emphasis on cost reduction.”
When asked if the rounds of redundancies at Avid had come to an end, Hernandez said: “I can’t say that for certain, but that is not my focus right now and I don’t expect any changes.
“My focus now is on the packaging of products, to look at where the market is going and where Avid fits in the industry in a way that will add value to the community and shareholders.”
Hernandez joined Avid from Open Solutions, where one of his final acts was to oversee the sale of the financial services technology company, but he told Broadcast he had not been tasked with supervising a similar process at Avid.
“We don’t anticipate a sale, but we are always open to options to create shareholder value,” he said, before hinting that Avid could look to address new segments of the professional media market.
“The monetisation of content, rights management and distribution are areas we have to look carefully at.
“I’m not sure if that’s something we will do soon, but we need to evolve to the changing needs of the market.
“We have the capital to change with it, so whether or not we invest through acquisitions we will be pretty aggressive in leading the market.
“The challenge we have is that the industry we serve, and the way content is created, edited, delivered and protected is changing rapidly.
“But Avid is in the best position to inspire the future vision for the way humans consume content.”
Gary Greenfield’s role
Outgoing chief executive Gary Greenfield will remain on Avid’s board of directors.
New chief exec Louis Hernandez said he would now “play a normal board role”.
He said: “Gary and I have a very good relationship and have worked together, so he is accessible to me and will help to make sure there is a smooth transition.”