(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 22--Rick Wills, who ran Tektronix in its last several years as an independent company and brokered its sale, has joined the board of another venerable Oregon tech business -- Electro Scientific Industries.
ESI and Tek are Oregon's oldest and second oldest technology companies, founded in 1944 and 1946, respectively. They remain among the state's largest.
Both have fallen on hard times, though. Tek, now owned by the conglomerate Danaher Corp., has reported 11 straight quarters of declining sales and named a new president last month, Pat Byrne, Tek's third leader since Wills stepped down in 2008 after selling the company for $2.85 billion.
ESI has a new CEO, too, tech turnaround specialist Ed Grady, who has warned that rehabilitating the company will take several quarters. ESI is in the process of shifting from a supplier to the memory chip market to a laser tool manufacturer serving a number of tech industries.
"Rick brings a wealth of technology and management experience, and his marketing background will be of great benefit as we transform ESI into a more market-focused organization," Grady said in a written statement.
Wills, 59, started at Tektronix in 1979 and served as CEO from 2000 until 2008. Since selling Tek, he has served on the board of fast-growing Hillsboro electron microscope company FEI Co. and as chairman of a Canadian business called General Fusion, which is pursuing nuclear fusion as a potential source of clean energy.
ESI shares opened up 1 cent Friday at $7.01. The stock has traded between $5.96 and $12.33 in the past year.
-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699
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