JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 53 : July 24, 2001

Keeping an eye on technology futures.
Business commentary - no hidden agendas.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
Stay e-tuned....

  • Invensys : Yurko out, stock dives
  • What's hot for industrial automation
  • Fully automated factories
  • eFeedback :
    • Honeywell after GE
    • A.I. movie comments
    • More comments on Charity

Invensys : Yurko out - stock dives

On Tuesday, 24 July, the Invensys board accepted the request of Allen Yurko to retire on 31 January 2002. Rick Haythornthwaite (45) will be appointed as Chief Executive on 1 October 2001.

The Invensys announcement commented that since Yurko is retiring at his own request, there will be "no severance payment to Yurko for his loss of office". What a bunch of baloney ! Yurko's ability to withdraw his pension plan as a $7.5m lump-sum was just approved weeks ago, indicating that he was about to exit any time after his 50th birthday (25 Sept. '01). With that in mind, note the dates above.

Chairman, Lord Marshall (when will he be booted?) was pleased that Kathleen O'Donovan, who had indicated that she wished to stand down, has accepted the request to stay with the Group and work with the new CEO. Of course, this is till he finds a new CFO replacement - which she surely knows, and probably accepted a "settlement" to not rock the boat with her own departure at this time.

On Tuesday, the Invensys stock traded as low as 73p, and ended the day at 85p. And now the group is being stalked by the likes of Alchemy (failed Rover bid, bought ICS and sold off parts) - for a break up play.

Click CBS Marketwatch - Invensys CEO goes, warns on profits

Click Read the complete background analysis

What's hot for industrial automation

Industrial automation is transitioning from distributed control systems programmable logic controllers and industrial PCs to a new, connected environment of industrial appliances. In a somewhat stagnant business environment, new technologies will bring significant advances - and new leaders. You might enjoy my latest article on this subject.

Click What's hot for industrial automation

Click The original version of this article was published by
Industrial Computing - ISA, July 2001

Fully automated factories

For decades popular culture has anticipated the arrival of fully automated workplaces - really smart manufacturing processes occurred with only minimal human involvement. Products would transit from raw materials to finished goods in a smooth sweep of sequenced transformations, accomplished robotically and monitored remotely.

Dick Morley tells the joke about a future factory needing a man and a dog : the man to supervise the factory, and the dog to assure that the man does not touch anything....

It has not yet happened. But, now perhaps it is....

Click Read this article : Look Ma! No people!

Click Read Dick Morley's book :
The Technology Machine: Manufacturing in the year 2020


Richard Corles [richard@orangewoodconsulting.com] commented on Honeywell, post-GE :

    "The Honeywell board has recalled Larry Bossidy to run the company for one year, officially to "make it self-sufficient again". Bossidy has clearly failed to find a successor in the past. My conclusion is that the board expects Bossidy to clean up and sell pieces to interested buyers. GE will have open access to Bossidy, ex-GE and a good buddy of Jack Welch. GE now knows which pieces they really want and maybe they will pay a little over a realistic price as part of a settlement. So, everyone can declare victory.

    "Other pieces will be sold off or spun off so that Bossidy can go back to golfing next year without the need to meddle with his successor - he won't have one. He simply has a personal interest in this coming out right by virtue of his stock ownership."

Norm & Jeanette Helfgott [luckynorm@home.com] gave their view of the Spielberg movie A.I. :

    "We went to see A.I. because it had Spielberg's name attached to it as well as the fact it had a futuristic, scientific format which always attracts us. Here are some of our observations about the movie - with which we both were VERY disappointed.

    "Aside from the dark, narcissistic selfishness of some of the characters, parents were portrayed as having consideration only for THEIR feelings and not taking responsibility for their actions, even towards a "machine". Many humans have more love for their pets and automobiles, than the characters in the movie had for their manmade child!

    "Spiritual Machine? If humans find the path to spirituality difficult to follow how could a machine supply it? The dictionary definition of Spirit :

    1. The vital principle or animating force traditionally believed to be within living beings.
    2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
    3. The Holy Ghost.
    4. Christian Science - God.
    5. A supernatural being, such as a ghost.
    6. The part of a human being associated with the mind and feelings as distinguished from the physical body.
    7. The essential nature of a person.

    "Surely, it would take an individual with great hubris to believe the possibility exists of attaining creation of a machine that would have these qualities."

Pinto Point :
Norm & Jen, there are indeed many respected technologists who believe that the possibility does exist for creating a machine with the qualities you mention.

Kurzweil Book Read Ray Kurzweil's book The Age of the Spiritual Machine

Dave Rich [dwrich@visi.com] commented on my Charity article :

    "I read and enjoyed you viewpoints on charity. Helping people without expecting anything in return is good. Corporations tell how much they give back to the community "5% goes towards your community" and yet the same corporation gets tax advantages for building a new store in downtown Minneapolis, from the City of Minneapolis. This just seems to capsize their creditability. They can't be quiet about giving, but didn't even say "thank you" about the $68 million tax relief - amazing!"

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