After paying a too-high price to reduce Invensys' debt, Rick
Haythornthwaite (looking for an exit) has now paid big bucks to
get a new COO, his CEO-in-waiting. The new hired-gun received a
"golden hello" worth more than £2 million in cash and shares. Wow!
Ulf Henriksson will get £600,000 in cash, 4 million restricted shares
worth £730,000, 5 million share options, plus $270,000 in cash to make
up for the bonus accrued at Eaton (his previous employer), plus up to
£525,000 in relocation expenses. Invensys considered "such awards
to be essential to securing the services of Mr. Henriksson".
Ulf Henriksson's basic salary has been set at £525,000, compared with
Rick Haythornthwaite's £660,000 last year. Plus he will get 35% of his
salary as a "pension supplement". Plus, he will also participate in the
executive bonus scheme and the long-term incentive plan. He is supposed
to pay back up to £350,000 if he resigns within the first three years.
It's interesting that no one seemed to know much about Ulf Henrikson
before he joined on 21 May 2004. Nervous Invensys employees were lining
up for their first meetings, with very little to go by. Then his first
memo to all employees came out. Judging by that, there's not much to judge.
On the Invensys weblog, one disillusioned Foxboro employee quipped:
"Invensys employees are rolling their eyes. And Invensys competitors
must, again, be pleased this day!"
After paying a too-high price to reduce Invensys' debt, Rick Haythornthwaite (looking for an exit) has now paid big bucks to get a new COO, his CEO-in-waiting. The new hired-gun received a "golden hello" worth more than £2 million in cash and shares. Wow!
Ulf Henriksson will get £600,000 in cash, 4 million restricted shares worth £730,000, 5 million share options, plus $270,000 in cash to make up for the bonus accrued at Eaton (his previous employer), plus up to £525,000 in relocation expenses. Invensys considered "such awards to be essential to securing the services of Mr. Henriksson".
Ulf Henriksson's basic salary has been set at £525,000, compared with Rick Haythornthwaite's £660,000 last year. Plus he will get 35% of his salary as a "pension supplement". Plus, he will also participate in the executive bonus scheme and the long-term incentive plan. He is supposed to pay back up to £350,000 if he resigns within the first three years. Hmmmm....
It's interesting that no one seemed to know much about Ulf Henrikson before he joined on 21 May 2004. Nervous Invensys employees were lining up for their first meetings, with very little to go by. Then his first memo to all employees came out. Judging by that, there's not much to judge.
On the Invensys weblog, one disillusioned Foxboro employee quipped:
"Invensys employees are rolling their eyes. And Invensys competitors must, again, be pleased this day!"
The future is nearer than it appearsLast month I brought up M2M - machine-to-machine interface - machines that connect via the Internet. A lot of people agree that this is already becoming a BIG market.
Here's an interesting point - when connected to the Internet, a machine does not have to stand alone, it can connect seamlessly to remote intelligence when needed. This will create machines that understand and even anticipate needs.
Several technologies now advancing to the practical and economical level which will bring everyday life to a whole new level of functionality. Powerful trends are already driving these advances into the mainstream. In the next decade, this will transform everyday life.
Soon awkward keyboard or push-button interface will disappear as speech recognition becomes commonplace. High-end automobiles (and cell phomnes) already have some of this functionality. Soon you'll be able to talk to your washing-machine, refrigerator and other home appliances. You'll not only be able to tell your TV which program to select, it will remember your favorite channels, will switch to HBO when it's time for your movie, and will switch channels during commercials.
When my computer failed the other day, I called Sony Service. It took me a while to recognize that I was talking not to a person, but a machine. When I traveled to Santa Barbara by train this week, a virtual salesperson named Julie told me the train schedules, made my reservations, and accepted my credit card for my tickets. Amtrak is saving money by using Julie.
The prices of flat wall monitors will soon reduce to levels where they will proliferate, hanging on the wall in every room as a conversational human-machine interface. Ask the computer anything - it will look up Google and tell you the answer. Like StarTrek!
Wearable cell phonesTiny cell phones woven into clothing, or worn as wrist-watches and jewelry are already fashionable in Europe and the Far East.
It should be noted that the US is the biggest market; but, early products can only be made in smaller volumes, so suppliers seem to test market in smaller markets first, before attempting US launch.
Over the years, the cell phone has gone through a transformation. Just over a decade ago, the bulky Motorola portable, sometimes slung over the shoulder in a carry-bag, was not uncommon. Since then, the cell phone has become tiny, ubiquitous and multi-purpose - not only can you talk, but you can also send text messages, send and receive music, pictures, video clips, play games by yourself, or with remote players. Of course, you pay for all this functionality - but it's amazingly cheap! It's interesting that one of the highest income generators for cell phone companies is "ring-tones" - to make your gadget meow, bark or warble when a call comes in.
Now, get ready for wearable cell phones. Soon you'll have a choice of cell phones that are also watches, bracelets, jacket lapels, hats - all to make a fashion statement. But there is good functionality too. A phone stitched into clothing, or wrapped around a wrist, can no longer be left behind in a restaurant. Plumbers and electricians won't have to drop their tools to answer a call. Some wearable phones have personal emergency alarm features - if the phone is squeezed, it automatically dials 911 and provides its exact location with built-in GPS.
Nokia plans to begin selling its Imagewear line of digital necklaces and chokers in the US at the end of June. The necklaces' medallions will store and display up to eight photos, snapped by a Nokia camera phone and uploaded into the necklace wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Market analysts predict that 20% of US cell-phone users will used as part of clothing within 2-3 years.
"Automation Unplugged" is ISA best-seller for 2003"AUTOMATION UNPLUGGED" WINS ISA BEST-SELLER AWARD FOR 2003 I am happy to share the news with you that my book, "Automation Unplugged: Pinto's Perspectives, Pointers & Prognostications" sold the most units of any book published by ISA in 2003.
I have been awarded the "Raymond D. Molloy Award", presented by the ISA Publications Department to the author of the best-selling new ISA book of the previous year.
If you haven't already seen the book, you can look it up on my website. Your feedback will be appreciated.
Editorial - the corruption of Democracy in AmericaHow many people in America think that their vote really matters? Judging by voter participation, only about half - the US ranks 139 among the world's 172 democracies. Only about 54% of eligible voters in the US cast their ballots during the last 4 decades of presidential elections. Compare that to 90% in Italy, 80% in Germany, 76% in France and Canada, 75% in Britain and 71% in Japan.
What is amazing is how little has changed in our voting process since November 2000. The underlying problems that led to the Presidential election crisis 4 years ago still exist and may stretch on for years. It is very disturbing!
Political "marketing" has the country split into politically polarized regions. Republicans dominate "Red" states while Democrats control "Blue" states. The number of "swing" states has dwindled to 17 or 18 - effectively disenfranchising millions of voters in the "already decided" areas. If you don't live in any of the 17 "battleground" states, your vote is virtually ignored for the Presidential race.
Inside the Red and Blue zones, political competition is systematically being eliminated as the major parties redesign congressional district lines into safe havens for incumbents. This is called "gerrymandering". This year, only 35 seats out of 435 are even remotely up for grabs. The result: growing voter disenchantment over the lack of choice. Another sign that democracy is in trouble.
To make things worse, the Electoral College system makes more fiascos like the 2000 presidential election very possible. With a close race, either Presidential candidate could win the popular vote while losing in the Electoral College. This kind of result will inevitably bring yet another crisis of legitimacy.
A lot of Americans still question the outcome of the last election. After the Florida supreme court had decided on a re-count which would probably have handed Florida to Gore, the US Supreme Court stopped the re-count, with a clearly partisan majority. Read Supreme Court Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion (weblink below), to understand the looming crisis.
eFeedbackMy friend, deep thinker and writer, Merle Borg [email@example.com], had this to say about "the 10 top ways to win against terrorism":
"Self-sacrifice is the only honorable option left to people being subjugated by superior weapons. Settlers displacing American Indians developed repeating firearms to solve the issue of terrorist natives. We now are developing robotic weapons to deal with Arabs protecting their lands. Do we expect to also massacre 80% of them?
"Short of genocide there is no workable defense against suicidal terrorism. Only with the elimination of trade and travel could it be attempted and in a global economy, that is impossible. Israel is slowly realizing this and after the coming terrorist attacks in this country, and more brutal and failed responses, we will finally accept it too.
"We are participant to the slow and bloody end of colonialism. Fairness and decency between nations regardless of their strength will one day prevail, not because it should, but because in an interconnected world there is no choice.
"My article (weblink below) attempts to put this in a more historical perspective."
Michael Poland [firstname.lastname@example.org] from New Zealand:
"I do not see any such educational material being using within the primary or secondary education systems. 'Out of Gas' clearly explains the issues and is a short and easy read, perfect to catch the attention of a busy population. If Goodstein wrote this book in order to attempt to make some difference he will fail as the numbers who will read it are too small unless he can get it into some broad book reviews. He may improve the chances if he is prepared to release the text on the web and make it accessible to a wider population."
Lee White [email@example.com] dared me to print his response to my editorial, "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!" So, here it is - unedited.
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