Taking it to the next level at Hittite
Executive interview with Hittite CEO Rick Hess
MWJ: You bring a wealth of CEO experience from several high-tech companies such as MACOM, what experiences do you feel will benefit Hittite the most?
RH: I have been on Hittite’s Board of Directors for many years, I know the company well and this is advantageous in my new role as President and CEO. I have spent most of my career in Engineering and Management roles in the RF and Microwave Markets and this gives me a good understanding of the industry. Hittite is a great company with a long tradition of innovation and I look forward to continuing and accelerating the rate of innovation bringing new and exciting products to the market for our customers benefit.
MWJ: Since recently taking over at Hittite, what primary short terms goals have you established and what progress has been made toward achieving them?
RH: We are a company that focuses on the long term; however, we also understand the importance of delivering consistently strong Quarterly financial results. This enables us to continuously invest in Research & Development for our customers benefit. We constantly review and make adjustments to our short term plans to ensure they are on track and support our long term strategy. I am pleased with the progress so far and excited to see our newest products reach the markets and adopted by our customers.
MWJ: Hittite has experienced a high growth rate for many years, what strategies will be used to help this growth continue?
RH: The company’s success is the result of hard work, engineering talent and customer intimacy. We solve our customers’ most difficult technical challenges and are rewarded with long term business relationships. As we continue to grow, we will leverage the strength of Hittite’s tradition and scale our ability to service a growing customer base and product portfolio. We will continue to strengthen our customer relationships which are the core of our success.
MWJ: What do you see as the major growth markets/opportunities for Hittite in the near term?
RH: We have significant strengths in several key markets, Cellular Infrastructure, Fiber Optics & Networking, Microwave & Millimeterwave Communications, Military, Space, Test & Measurement, Automotive and Broadband; all present growth opportunities for Hittite.
MWJ: Hittite has moved into several new markets like test equipment and high-speed converters, what lead the company to expand into these new markets that most other RF component companies have not traditionally addressed?
RH: As we grow it is important for us to be able to deliver comprehensive solutions along with new and differentiated products. Our strategy is to continue to expand our product and technology offerings to support our customers’ requirements.
MWJ: What type of sales channels does Hittite utilize as a global supplier and will that change as Hittite grows?
RH: We sell our products globally through multiple channels, including our worldwide direct sales force, applications engineering staff, our network of domestic & international independent sales representatives and our website. In addition, many of our standard products are available for sale through our distributors, Future Electronics and Digi-Key Corporation. Each of these sales channels is supported by our customer service and marketing organizations. We intend to expand our sales and support capabilities and our network of independent sales representatives in key regions domestically and internationally.
MWJ: What geographic areas offer the best growth opportunities for Hittite and why?
RH: Asia is certainly very important for us, but we see growth opportunities worldwide.
MWJ: What are your major long term goals for Hittite?
RH: We are a technology company focused in solving our customers’ most complex technical problems. We design and develop high performance integrated circuits, modules, and subsystems for technically demanding applications covering the DC to 110 GHz frequency range. We have developed a keen knowledge of analog, digital and mixed-signal semiconductor technologies, from the device level to the design and assembly of complete subsystems. We aim to continue to deliver value to our customers and help them succeed. Our long term goal is to continue to grow our presence in the high performance analog market and applications.