Today Microsemi announced the acquisition of Centellax, bringing a successful end to the little startup company I joined so long ago. The ten years I spent at Centellax were richly rewarding and I am so happy and proud to have been a part of growing the company, divesting the T&M business in 2012, and maybe even passively contributing to this latest success in some way.
Congratulations to Julio Perdomo, Centellax CEO, President, and co-founder, Christian Bourde, co-founder and VP Engineering, Jerry Orr, co-founder and Design Engineer, Jeff Meyer, CTO, and Brad Ingels, Director Operations. These guys are the heart and soul of Centellax and all are my good friends. Nicely done!
Some pictures and background after the jump.
Let me share a little more. I joined Centellax on April 4th, 2002 as a Hardware Design Engineer, driving cross-country from Ottawa, ON, Canada to beautiful Santa Rosa, California for my first “real job” after University. I didn’t pack much.
I was one of a few employees at the new startup and – along with my colleagues – poured my heart into the company. We had a lot of fun before the pressures of ‘making a profit’ started to harsh our mellows and serious’d things up.
We got these pocketbikes up to 32mph. We even raced them inside, much to the chagrin of our CFO, who wasn’t attuned to the kind of things people at startups do. He wasn’t bad, he was just risk averse. Sorry Jerome, behaving just wasn’t in our nature.
We worked long hours and struggled to find our place in a quickly-moving marketplace. Who would have imagined a semiconductor-based high-tech startup launching in 2002? Crazy! Does anyone remember the giant huge dot-com bust in 2000/2001? Guess not.
We had some ups and downs for sure. Here’s one of our first OFC (tradeshow) booths. We got a great spot right by the bathrooms. Great traffic, but you were never sure about shaking hands. As you can see, I kept mine behind my back.
Our first online order was a big event. I had put together our website and wrote the secure HTML and CGI to gather credit card info. I guess I made a small mistake: the details were lost and someone in finance had to call the customer and ask for the credit card information again. You know what that is? Extra security!
I had started at Centellax as a design engineer, helped customers as an application engineer for a few years, and eventually ended up as a VP running our worldwide sales organization. I like to think I had something to do with Centellax becoming profitable in 2006. Isn’t that cool? We all thought so.
This is Mr. Michael Rozmann, one of our best sales representatives. He now runs his own company called Mi.Ro Sys and is very highly regarded in the industry. He was instrumental to our success in Europe.
After ten long years, Centellax divested its Test and Measurement business to Agilent Technologies (now Keysight Technologies). On May 11, 2012, I went with the T&M business and became an Agilent employee. Centellax continued on as a chip-based telecom company.
Being acquired by the #1 T&M company was just recognition for the awesome things we had accomplished. It was a real success story.
When I left in 2012 things were really doing very well. The team was working well together, firing on all cylinders. Here our Director of Operations and our Layout Engineer Extraordinaire are seen at a typical luncheon.
And to add a little extra to the awesomeness, a few weeks later my second son was born. The stability of our new owner was a real blessing at a time like this. It’s nice to be appreciated, and even more so when you have a growing family at home.
Fast forward two more years. Our family is now five, after adding a sweet young girl, and Centellax has just sold to Microsemi. How about that!?
Congratulations to all involved. Hard work and perseverance really does pay off.