Shaking up perceptions of the electronics industry

1 min read

The Electronic Systems Community’s (ESCO) new CEO Tony King-Smith wants to shake things up. King-Smith, until recently, vp of marketing with IP developer Imagination Technologies, has been involved with ESCO from its early days. But he wants to change the way in which electronics – and the industries which rely on electronics – is perceived by the general public.

One of ESCO’s problems is that it has remained largely invisible, except to those in the industry. “Why doesn’t anyone listen to us?,” King-Smith asked. “Because they don’t know what we’re talking about.”

So marketing will be a major part of the effort. “It’s time to focus on getting people’s attention,” he contended. “Aerospace and automotive are well organised; we now have to define ourselves as a sector.”

One thing is clear: King-Smith doesn’t want ESCO to be ‘just another trade association’. "We have to be more like a business," he claimed. He also wants to create some kind of coalition with similar organisations. Will he encounter vested interests? In the past, organisations which should have collaborated to promote electronics ended up working against each other.

Those who have tried to get the various elements of the electronics industry heading in the same direction say that it was like trying to ‘herd cats’.

But that’s not all on his agenda. “Why do people have a poor image of engineering?,” he lamented.

Let’s hope King-Smith’s idea of a coalition can be made to work and that it gives the electronic systems sector – and engineering in general – the recognition it deserves.