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 user 2010-12-14 at 8:55:13 am Views: 50
  • #24369

    International’s recent decision to combine its laser and inkjet printer
    divisions was made to mirror the company’s strategy of recent years,
    its chief executive said last week.Paul Rooke is a firm believer that a
    company’s management structure should follow its strategy, he said, and
    Lexington-based Lexmark’s has been evolving to focus its inkjet division
    more on business customers, who are the core base for its laser

    Lexmark has been radically realigning its inkjet
    division because the company found in recent years that the consumers
    who once bought their printers, which were sometimes bundled for free
    with computers, weren’t buying enough of the highly profitable ink to
    meet profit expectations.Since that time, the company has redesigned its
    inkjets to focus more on business customers, who print more than
    consumers. The printers now offer touchscreens and so-called “Smart
    Solutions” that allow companies to customize many settings and
    applications for individual users.As the company evolved technologically
    to build those products, it already was consolidating technical
    functions because the laser and inkjet offerings were blending, Rooke

    When the company began discussing the October retirement of
    CEO Paul Curlander and Rooke’s elevation from inkjet leader to CEO, the
    latter said “it was a natural transition point, if you will … to
    transition the rest of the organization.”"Structure follows strategy,”
    he said. “I looked at our strategy and how it was evolving. As …
    inkjet and laser’s strategies were converging, it made sense to
    therefore converge the structure.”The combination of divisions didn’t
    mean any job losses, the company has said, other than the position of
    inkjet leader, which wasn’t filled after Rooke’s promotion. Marty
    Canning, who led the laser division that was previously overseen by
    Rooke before he took over the troubled inkjet unit, leads the combined

    The move will help Lexmark’s salespeople, as the
    combined division will mean “a broader and better set” of offerings for
    customers as the development teams work united instead of as part of two
    divisions, Canning said.”The sales organization was already
    representing both of these product portfolios,” he noted. “They just
    didn’t have a product development organization as aligned as we will be
    …”We can solve a larger set of their business problems because of
    this.”Rooke added that the combination of divisions also will mean “more
    consistency across the full breadth of technologies addressing business
    customers’ needs.”"That will be a powerful statement for us,” he
    said.Employees have been receptive to the change, Rooke said, as many
    already had seen the shift coming since the inkjet strategy change in
    recent years.

    One group of employees that will still be a
    standalone division, though, is Lexmark’s recently acquired Perceptive
    Software unit. The Kansas-based company develops software that helps
    businesses manage content.”We intentionally kept it separate because
    it’s a smaller piece,” Rooke said. “A lot of times if you try to combine
    a smaller piece with a bigger piece, it can get squashed, and we didn’t
    want that to happen.”

    Perceptive Software CEO Scott Coons said
    the key is that Lexmark’s reorganization hasn’t changed its
    strategy.”The goal is to grow Perceptive Software and leverage all the
    great things Lexmark brings to bear to grow our business,” he
    said.Reaction to the reorganization has been positive from the analyst
    community, Rooke said. Among those who find it encouraging is Ed
    Crowley, founder of Versailles-based printer industry research firm The
    Photizo Group.”That’s really going to be a big positive for them,”
    Crowley said. “I think it’s a smart move.”He said it didn’t make sense
    at this point to have a full division and the infrastructure that comes
    with it to go after the business customers for inkjet.”It really brings
    them to a singular focus,” he said