Tech Industry

Micronics gets new CEO, mission

Micronics Computers names a new chief executive and president who has plans to build a family of products in the graphics area.

Filling in holes in its executive team, Micronics Computers (MCRN) today named a new chief executive and president who has plans to build a family of products in the graphics area while nurturing the company's relationships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Charles J. Hart was appointed chief executive and president, replacing Fred Dietrich as president and William Shelander as chief operating officer. Dietrich was hired on interim basis and is no longer with the company, and Shelander will remain chairman of Micronics' board.

The company's president, CEO, and board director, Shanker Munshani, stepped down last September, and was replaced by William Shelander, a private investor and a member of the Micronics board since 1990. Munshani left "to pursue other interests," according to a company statement.

Hart, who joins Micronics at a time when the company has been seeing falling revenue and expanding losses, said of his new mission: "I want to stop the bleeding and then build on the company."

In its most recent quarter, the system-board manufacturer reported revenue of $19.5 million, down from $36.2 million reported a year earlier. The company also reported a net loss of $700,000, or 5 cents a share, compared to net profits of $200,000 or 1 cent per share, reported for the same quarter a year earlier.

"The quickest way to grow revenue is to go with the strength of company. We have a strong engineering department in place, and we will continue to leverage off that," said Hart. "It is too early to assess what niche market we want to concentrate on, but there is a sense of urgency to get revenue up, and margins up, and the stock price up."

Hart went on to explain that the company has been facing some trying times as margins on motherboards have grown thin. In order to combat those tiny margins, Hart has his eye on building stronger relationships with OEMs, and on using the company's acceptance in the graphics marketplace as a springboard by which to garner more business by building a family of products in the graphics space.

Hart was appointed in November 1996 to the board of Network Peripherals. Most recently, he assisted in an operating role at NPI, helping to redirect the company's sales and marketing initiatives, in addition to developing a new product strategy.