From bootstraps to leadership: Panel offers financial perspectives

Mar 24, 2022 10:14:53 AM

Laser Focus World summarizes a panel discussion featuring our CEO Debbie Gustafson and other industry executives that took place during the recent Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. 

Along with Gustafson the panel of leaders of small- and medium-sized enterprise firms in photonics included: Jennifer Cable, president of Thorlabs; Seppo Orsila, CEO of Modulight Corp.; and Wilhelm Kaenders, Ph.D., CEO of Toptica Photonics. We've included an excerpt of the article below which describes the importance of maintaining corporate culture through growth. To read the full article please visit Laser Focus World.


For Gustafson, who has gone from small companies acquired by large companies (all of which were U.S. based), her experience with corporate culture was a bit different. When Energetiq was acquired several years ago by Hamamatsu, a Japanese company that Gustafson calls “a great match, technically,” thanks to the companies’ complementary products, she chose a different type of process in regard to company culture, communication, and management. It prompted Energetiq to take a close look at their “integration and acceptance of people.”

Energetiq was in operation for about 12 years before it was acquired. While it can be relatively easy to sell a company when it’s newer, it can still be accompanied by challenges. “When you've created your own culture, and you have a board of investors, you have two sides of the puzzle you have to deal with,” explains Gustafson. “One is the fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders, and the other is ensuring you support your employees.”

But Hamamatsu did a really great thing with the acquisition. “They sent somebody to Energetiq for a year, not to manage us, but to watch to see what we were all about,” she adds. “And for the past five years now, my job is to make sure we keep Energetiq’s culture very creative and innovative, as well as taking the positive things of Hamamatsu. And that's why it's been successful.”


Read the full article on the SEMI website: From bootstraps to leadership: Panel offers financial perspectives