Krall steps down at Avid

From Avid

Tewksbury, Mass – July 16, 2007 – The board of directors of Avid Technology, Inc.. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that David Krall will step down from his positions as President, Chief Executive Officer, and board member of the company, at the end of July. Nancy Hawthorne, current board member and former chairman, will serve as the company’s interim CEO as the board begins an immediate search for a new CEO. Krall will be available as a consultant to the company during the transition period.

pure what?

This is long overdue. Krall did a wonderful job of bringing fiscal discipline to Avid after its initial growth spurt, but had trouble steering the ship in the more competitive environment of recent years. Avid leadership took too long to acknowledge Final Cut Pro as a viable competitor, and then failed to respond adequately to the threat.

Avid will never get down in the dirt in a price war with Apple and Adobe in the NLE market space. There’s still room for a niche player catering to the needs of broadcasters and filmmakers, but Avid always overplayed its advantages in this space. Features like ScriptSync and Animatte are worth a premium, but the $3,700 Avid was asking for Media Composer software over Apple and Adobe NLE suites just doesn’t pass the sniff test with many of this generations facility owners and managers.

First order of business for the new CEO should be to get real marketing department in place. Identify its customers needs, meet those needs, and just as importantly, articulate Avid’s value proposition.

Second order of business should be to kill Xpress Pro. Media Composer software should cost $1,695 – not some hobbled wannabe. Xpress Pro has a few advantages over Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, but not enough to justify a price premium – especially considering that Apple and Adobe sell full suites of software for what Avid sells its stripped NLE for.

Maybe now someone at Avid will take my post-NAB advice seriously.

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