OCZ started in a strip mall making heatsinks and fans in 2002. Not exactly an auspicious beginning to a company that now is a dominant force in the SSD industry. The guy that has helped the company make the massive jumps it has is Ryan Peterson. Today OCZ has announced his resignation. Alex Mei, current CMO (chief marketing officer) is taking over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.
It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago OCZ sprang into existence. A few quick exposes from other tech sites revealed a small company that was situated in a strip mall. Back in those years there was some questionable marketing tactics that the company used to present themselves as a much larger organization than they actually were (their website showed large, modern buildings and automated memory manufacturing equipment- neither of which the company had). Through perseverance, decent technical support, and some really interesting products at a time where enthusiast style memory was starting to grow, the company thrived and expanded.
The memory market has softened, and seemingly OCZ was well aware of where the market was going. They transitioned from being a memory company to a full blown SSD manufacturer. Along the way they picked up Indilinx and are now finally starting to produce their first custom silicon. The company continued to grow, and at the head of it all was Ryan Peterson. Often known as a polarizing figure, he nonetheless helped to lead OCZ into a position of significance and authority when it came to SSD technology.
It seems that the recent downturn in the company’s profits, and the seeming failure of the sale to Seagate of the company, Ryan submitted his resignation and the board of OCZ accepted it. Not much else is included in the release, other than thanking Ryan for his dedication to the company and wishing him and his family the best of luck.
This must be a hard day for Ryan, as he was truly a driving force in taking OCZ from the strip mall to the high rise. Change is inevitable though, and rarely do we see CEO’s like AMD’s Jerry Sanders last for decades at the helm of a company. The market is changing, and perhaps OCZ needs a new vision. Still, OCZ is now synonymous with the growing SSD market, and their acquisition of Indilinx allows them some flexibility and differentiation in what is now a very crowded area. Their introduction of inexpensive “server” style PCI-E SSD devices was another milestone, and it provided an inexpensive (and powerful) solution that competed well with other much more costly products from companies such as FusionIO.
It will be very interesting to see where the company goes, but we wish Ryan the best of luck.
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