New OCZ CEO: ”We’ve got the train back on the track”

OCZ has been going through a rough patch lately. Founder and CEO Ryan Petersen left the company in September, and one month later, OCZ warned of a “significant” quarterly loss. That loss was blamed on “customer incentive programs”—overly aggressive pricing, in other words. As of today, the company’s results still haven’t been posted.

However, the firm may be on the path to recovery. Newly minted CEO Ralph Schmitt told Reuters earlier this week, “I’ll say that we’ve got the train back on the track.” Schmitt explained that OCZ has gotten supply issues under control by broadening its supplier base. “That was part of the issue before,” he said. “We were overly reliant on one supplier.” The company is also taking other steps to avoid financial ruin.

OCZ has entered “talks for additional capital,” plans to cut staff by 28%, and intends to focus on higher-margin products going forward. “I cannot think we can compete on price,” explains Schmitt. “The flash guys – the Microns, the Intels, the Samsungs really are the guys that will take that market.” Reuters probed to see if Schmitt was exploring a possible sale of the firm, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. “That’s not the direction we are heading towards,” noted the CEO. Schmitt believes OCZ can do better with its existing assets.

We’ll have to wait and see OCZ’s financials to know the true extent of the damage, but Schmitt’s statement are encouraging, at least. It would certainly be a shame if OCZ were to drop out of the market altogether. The company has proved it can produce some excellent solid-state drives—like the freshly introduced Vector, which is one of the fastest drives we’ve tested to date.

Comments closed
    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    Must be true. For the first time ever, I successfully received a MIR from OCZ last week for a purchase made late summer. Not that I’ve participated in many OCZ MIR, but I was batting O for a few over the years.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    As sad as it might be to admit… sounds like ocz at least has a better plan moving forward than AMD does… not that that is really saying much. Just stating that it looks like ocz is making a sincere effort to get itself moving in the correct direction. I dont feel like i can really say the same about AMD.

    That being said… i was running 2 gigs of ocz ddr400 in my old p4 northwood machine back in the day, never had any issues with it. That same ram is now still running in my dads older athlon 64 machine without incident. Also am running a 600 watt ocz modXtreme psu in my primary system. I will throw out there though that the unit i am running is a replacement unit ocz sent me after my first 600 watt ocz psu blew out and took the mobo with it after 2 1/2 years of service. Sure it sucked that was what finally did in that 5 1/2 year old p4 rig (i did a psu upgrade part way through that systems lifetime as the 350 watt unit i originally had wasnt cutting it, and i think part of what killed the first ocz psu was because i inadvertently overloaded one of its rails…), but getting ocz to send a replacement unit under warranty was suprisingly painless for me. I know not everyone else can say the same… but thus far i wouldnt say my experiemce with ocz hasnt been terrible by any means.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    I think OCZ needs to consolidate its product lines. Less lines of drives, and make it easy to figure out (by line) which drives come with which controllers (Sandforce, Indilinx, etc.). If they can do a great job with Indilinx, maybe cut out Sandforce entirely, for a leaner and meaner enterprise.

    Add to that better support, and better quality control, and they may start to really have a company. Right now though, I view them like I do Chrysler; they’ve got a reputation that it may take several generations of product to overcome.

    • Jasked1
    • 7 years ago

    Ryan Petersen was not the founder of OCZ. Wikipedia had this incorrect bit of information on it at one point, and when he resigned many websites incorrectly posted this without doing any fact checking. The press release for his resignation even stated otherwise.

    Sources:

    [url<]http://ir.stockpr.com/ocztechnology/recent-news/detail/2143/ocz-board-appoints-alex-mei-as-interim-ceo-accepts-ryan-petersens-resignation[/url<] Mr. Petersen said, "I am very pleased to have transitioned the Company from a niche developer, manufacturer, and seller of high-performance DRAM memory modules to a global leader in solid-state storage solutions." [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5147/the-ocz-octane-review-512gb[/url<] "Having just taken over the company, Ryan was eager to know what he had to change to fix OCZ's reputation."

      • Forge
      • 7 years ago

      Weird, I don’t recall him taking over for anyone, ever. He was in from the beginning (selling “pretested” overclocked Athlons via a horrible Frontpage website) to the end (Samsung walked away, disgusted, and more accounts payable than receivable).

      Sources: Bought an Athlon from him in mid-2000. Might even be able to find the Paypal receipt, but I doubt it.

    • slaimus
    • 7 years ago

    If they are trying to get in the enterprise market, they need to change their name. No respectable company will adopt products from the OverClockerZ Store. I doubt even any enthusiasts thinks OCZ is a brand that they respect.

      • steelcity_ballin
      • 7 years ago

      Couldn’t disagree more. They already have a rather long-standing name in the community. I’ve never had any issue with their products and always found them to be a decent value. What would be more damaging to a brand such as theirs as a complete identity change in the midst of all these other changes?

        • slaimus
        • 7 years ago

        I guess it’s just me, I still have bad memories from the Overclockerz store (Their resellerratings were so bad they just removed the entire store). I know the current company is not the same one but just bought their name.

        • Washer
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah… a long standing reputation as low quality. This isn’t new. Before the SSDs it was PSUs before PSUs it was RAM before RAM it was pre-overclocked Athlons. It goes back for years.

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    maybe they’ll merge with AMD and become the greatest company on earth!

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Translation: Some baaaaaad news is coming down the pipe regarding financials, and he needs to reassure the investors that the company has a strategy to move forward.

    • cegras
    • 7 years ago

    I hope OCZ remains competitive. To me, purchasing Indilinx was a very bold (and smart?) move, allowing them to truly differentiate itself from rebranding companies.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Higher margin products?

    In other words they’re chasing the enterprise sector.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      The exact sector that really really should be avoiding OCZ.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        Cue either the Benny Hill theme, or Pepé Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    In other words, manufacturers are going to start raising SSD prices.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      yay! then apple wouldn’t seem so crazy for their insane ssd prices! you must love it!

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        You think Apple is unique in charging well above market rates for SSD upgrades?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Not going to happen in a market with this many competitors.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        It happened in the mechanical drive market. Manufacturers who were not even hit started raising their prices just as bad as the ones hit by the floods. Part of the reason that SSD drives were so cheap was because OCZ brought their product out at low prices causing the others to follow along to remain competitive.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          Bad example: both of the primary vendors for HDDs had their operations disrupted by the flood, and remaining market supply fell below market demand, so of course prices rose across the board (at least initially — duopoly effects on the rate of resettling can be debated separately, but there’s a good argument to be made for an unsustainable supply glut prior to the floods, hence the overall price swing appeared more dramatic than it really was).

          In the case of SSDs, no specialized manufacturing processes are required — anyone can enter the market by lining up supply contracts from one of several controller suppliers and one of several flash suppliers, drawing up PCB and chassis designs in CAD, hiring an embedded software developer customize a reference firmware design, and then getting a Chinese contract manufacturer to put it all together.

          I don’t quite agree with MadMan’s prognosis, since OCZ may have been artificially depressing the market clearing price with oversupply, and we may see a small price shift upward as things return to equillibrium, but not for the same reasons as what happened in the hard drive market.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Then take a look at the volitile RAM market if you want where prices rise and drop on a whim and everyone follows suite.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 7 years ago

            Flash prices are volatile, too, but there’s a lot more to SSDs than just the memory chips.

            Compare to how oil flies up and down, while gas consistently makes smaller moves, but car prices are only slowly affected by the overall trend.

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            How does that speak to the topic under discussion?

      • beck2448
      • 7 years ago

      No one is raising prices as recession and overcapacity continue. adjusted for stagflation computer tech is much cheaper than 10 years ago and 10x more powerful.

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