Executive clear out continues at PACE

The boardroom clear-out continues at the UK’s PACE, the world’s largest set top box vendor by volume, with the removal of chief operating officer David McKinney. For now, the COO duties will be performed by CEO Mike Pulli, who only took over that post last month, formerly heading Pace’s U.S. operations.

Pace chairman Allan Leighton attempted to put a gloss on the changes.

“The new senior structure gives the CEO direct line of sight to the critical areas of the business,” he said.

At the same time, Pulli has been replaced as president of Pace Americas by Tim O’Loughlin, who will be responsible for customer relationships, operations and all administrative functions there.

The reshuffling that started in December 2011 with the removal of longstanding CEO Neil Gaydon was kindled by mismanagement of expectations, and, to an extent, of the component supply chain, rather than of front-line development, marketing and sales. The company has not lost its leadership position, but has been guilty of handling press and analyst relations ineptly, issuing four profit warnings during 2011. It is true that the two disasters that afflicted its supply chain, the Japanese Tsunami in March 2011, and then the great floods in Thailand during October and November, were unfortunate, but they exposed Pace’s overdependence on both specific regions and individual companies. It is notable that other STB makers suffered rather less from these two events, and in the end previously successful executives have had to pay the price.