Bruggeman Leaves Cadence

Unfortunately Cadence does not seem to rid itself of political intrigue and infighting, no matter how hard it tries. And this time it managed to divert the attention of analysts and editors from a good second quarter result that beat expectations, with the almost instantaneous departure of John Bruggeman.

Rumors at DAC indicated that John was less than delighted with its situation within Cadence, but DAC and rumors go hand in hand. On the morning following the webcast announcing the fiscal results, I was notified that John had resigned his position as Chief Marketing Officer at Cadence.

News like this require a bit of research, thus the lag in my reporting. According to Pankaj Mayor, Chief of Staff to the CEO, Cadence's Executive Team decided to reorganize marketing within the company. The reorganization removed product marketing from the Corporate Marketing organization, reporting to Bruggeman at that time, and put product marketing within the three divisions responsible for product development. According to Pankaj, who will act as Head of Marketing in addition to his other role in the interim, this is the event that precipitated John's departure.

Pankaj was very careful in recognizing John Bruggeman contributions to Cadence. John succeeded in increasing both the status of Cadence within the industry and the revenue of the company. The EDA360 direction is now the backbone of the company and will remain its strategic direction, Pankaj told me. System Realization, SoC Realization, and Silicon Realization are well defined market segments that are being recognized even outside of Cadence. And modifying the organization to reflect some other vision would devastate the company at this point creating at least another three unhappy Senior Vice Presidents. The fact that the company has not managed to release an official report of the departure three days after it happened is an indication of how traumatic the situation is. John Bruggeman was more visible than even Lip-Bu during his tenure at Cadence. And, unfortunately Dianne Orr is on vacation. Talk about bad timing! The release will be carefully crafted so that John's contributions are recognized and the EDA360 direction confirmed while minimizing the negative impact of his departure on the company.

Of course the three Senior Vice Presidents of the divisions wished to have more control, and to be frank, more credit, for their contributions to revenue by integrating product marketing in their divisions. And Pankaj Mayor was very eloquent in explaining the advantages of the decision. According to Pankaj the rest of the responsibilities of corporate marketing will remain within a corporate structure, including strategic planning, business development, and key accounts (according to Lip-Bu there are 40 of them) relations.

Every organizational structure has its advantages and disadvantages. In the previous organization, the communication and integration of product marketing with the R&D organization required careful management of timing and crisp content in communication. To be sure, John Bruggeman creative capabilities would, at times, get in the way. His priority was always to build the vision, and the strategic direction to grow the company, even when this conflicted with the daily running of product marketing, left to capable managers under him. I know from personal experience, that those responsible for product marketing had the freedom and authority to work with the respective R&D organizations without tactical interference from John.

Taking product marketing from the corporate organization means that the group is now more in a staff position as it is once removed from the revenue stream. It is understandable that such a position is not what John Bruggeman signed up for when he joined Cadence, and thus the inevitable conclusion.

Cadence as once more managed to complicate its life. Pankaj steps in a role that requires daily attention and, according to Lip-Bu expectations, a lot of traveling to "manage" the key accounts. Yet, it seems logical that the position of Chief of Staff is not just an honorary position but a key component in keeping the executive team at top performance levels. So how many Pankaj Mayor does Cadence have and how many does it need? The answer is obvious.

I believe that the burden of proving that the decision was the correct one now rests on Chi-Ping, Nimish, and Sanjay, three outstanding professionals. In the short term they must prove it through increased revenue, and in the long term, well with very few exceptions there is no long term in EDA.