Articles about Bill Watkins


Seagate reorg: CEO puts ops man at the wheel

+Comment A new heir apparent has emerged at Seagate, the world's number two disk drive manufacturer, which experienced an 8TB drive production quantity mis-step in 2015. The company has consolidated Rocky Pimental's Global Markets and Customers organisation into Dave Mosley's Operations and Technology division. Pimental keeps his EVP …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2016
Homer Drooling

How Seagate lost $171m before flogging off EVault

So Seagate has offloaded its EVault cloud backup service for a mere $14m, virtually giving away what it originally bought for $185m. How did this train wreck happen? Cloud backup outfit Carbonite says it is buying “a leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions” designed for SMBs and small …
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2015
The Register breaking news

King Coyne snaps chains, escapes Western Digital

Under CEO John Coyne, Western Digital bought Hitachi GST and has become the world's number-one disk drive manufacturer. Now, leaving on a high note, Coyne is going to transfer the reins to HGST's ex-boss man Steve Milligan. The transfer of power will take place on 2 January, 2013. Milligan is now president of WD and will keep …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Seagate profits from Thai flooding

Seagate made huge profits of $1.1 billion on revenue of $4.4 billion in its third fiscal 2012 quarter, following a very successful second quarter. The company shipped a record 61 million hard disk drives in the quarter; a 29 per cent increase over the second quarter and 25 per cent higher than a year ago. It is still …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2012
hands waving dollar bills in the air

WD soaks up $2bn in Thai flood aftermath

Western Digital and its supply chain have pulled out all the stops and delivered a decent profit in the last quarter of 2011, the one in which some of its Thailand plants were inundated by deadly flooding. For this quarter, its second fiscal 2012 quarter, WD pulled in revenues of $2bn – compared to $2.5bn a year earlier – and …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jan 2012
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Ex-top disk dog down in the revenue dumps

Seagate has announced preliminary third quarter results 11.5 per cent lower than a year ago, with 1.3 million fewer disk drives shipped, but announced it is going to begin making dividend payments. Happy investors have boosted its shares by 9.12 per cent to $16.03. Seagate said for its third fiscal 2011 quarter, ending April 1, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2011

Bombshell in platterland: WD tried to buy Seagate

Bloomberg let off a mini-bombshell yesterday: Western Digital apparently offered to buy Seagate in October. At the time, world number one (by revenue) hard disk drive manufacturer Seagate was in the midst of resumed discussions with private equity buyers – led by TPG Capital – to go private. This is after initial discussions in …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2010

Seagate shenanigans hide cunning plans

Seagate has admitted it is discussing going private for the second time in a month. In a statement it said "it has received a preliminary indication of interest regarding a going private transaction." Seagate is talking with the unnamed party concerned and "has retained Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and Perella Weinberg …
Chris Mellor, 15 Oct 2010

Is Seagate poised to go private?

Seagate has been in discussion with a pair of private equity firms about a move off the stock market and back into private ownership, according to reports. The alleged discussions have been reported by normally reliable Reuters, Bloomberg and others. The talks between Seagate, TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners have not …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2010

Seagate CEO rides again

Ousted Seagate CEO Bill Watkins is back in harness as the CEO for a light-emitting diode (LED) company. The company is Sunnyvale-based Bridgelux, which supplies and develops solid state lighting products for direct use and for OEMs to incorporate into their own lighting products. LED lighting technology is being pushed as more …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2010
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Microsoft and Seagate hunker down in EVault

Microsoft is going to use Seagate software and its EVault cloud service to take on Symantec's backup products in heterogeneous Windows shops. Data Protection Manager 2010 will use Seagate's i365 software to bring non-Windows server environments into the Windows backup and recovery fold, and its EVault service to add cloud backup …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2009

Seagate pushes SSDs as part of recovery drive

Seagate's first 2010 fiscal quarter brought cheering news and a better outlook as its numbers continue to recover and it beings sampling its solid state drive with OEMs. Revenue for the quarter, which featured improving demand, was $2.66bn compared to the year-ago quarter's $3.033bn. Despite the $370m lower revenues Seagate made …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2009

Seagate closing Singapore plant

Seagate is closing a hard disk drive facility in Singapore, making up to 2,000 redundancies as it strives to reduce costs. The one-million-square-foot site at Ang Mo Kio became operational in 1997. Seagate says it makes all of the company's mission-critical hard drives - understood to mean enterprise drives. There are about 4, …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2009

Seagate shines under Luczo's law

Comment Luczo's law seems to suit Seagate - it's just raised its quarterly revenue guidance. Since ousting Bill Watkins six months ago in January, and retaking the CEO reins, board chairman Stephen Luczo has reshaped Seagate, cut costs, and regained 2.5-inch drive parity with Western Digital, if not leadership, positioning the company …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2009

Seagate slashes more jobs

Seagate is cutting a further 1,100 jobs with a view to reaching break-even point, aiming to save $125m a year. Seagate is the world's largest supplier of hard disk drives and the cuts represent 2.5 percent of its global headcount. They will get Seagate's cost down to less than $300m a quarter and, hopefully, make the firm …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2009

Ousted Seagate CEO boards Vertical Circuits

Ousted Seagate CEO Bill Watkins is back at work, as a board member at Vertical Circuits, a maker of thin interconnects used to stack chips vertically. Watkins was suddenly ousted at Seagate on January 9th, being replaced by chairman Steve Luczo. He joined the board of start-up Vertical Circuits in March. Vertical Circuits …
Chris Mellor, 04 May 2009

As Sun unravels, it's time for a new suit

Opinion With IBM reportedly breaking off the engagement, Sun must reinvent itself if it is to go it alone. That means bringing in a Joe Tucci lookalike to reform and restructure the business. This is a highly personal opinion about how and why it should undertake that process. First of all, Sun's board and senior management need to …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2009
homeless man with sign

Seagate re-armours small business storage

Update Seagate has introduced a line of network-attached, workstation and portable disk storage products with encrypted contents under its BlackArmor brand. These represent a follow-on from Seagate's BlackArmor full disk encryption portable dsk drive. First to be announced are two NAS or networked storage server products, with the 2- …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2009

Seagate swings hefty axe at execs

Seagate has given several execs the boot, including consumer products divisional president Brian Dexheimer, whose division's products didn't exactly set the world on fire. According to an SEC filing Dexheimer will leave his post at the end of the financial year, June 30, to effect a smooth transition, following which there will …
Chris Mellor, 05 Mar 2009
For Sale sign detail

Seagate ends gunfight at the SSD corral

In the legal gunfight at the SSD corral initiated by Wild Bill Watkins - then top gunslinger at Seagate - STC has emerged victorious, with Seagate abjectly running away. Seagate sued STEC for patent infringement of its own solid state drive technology in April last year. The alleged infractions even included the 3.5-inch form …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2009

Seagate firmware fix bricks Barracudas

The updated firmware Seagate issued to solve 1TB Barracuda drive faults is causing 500GB Barracuda drives to fail. The original fault was that Barracuda 7200.11 drives made in Thailand (ref: ST31000340AS with firmware level SD15) were failing at boot time with a firmware error that locked the drive up and rendered it inoperable …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jan 2009

So when did the knives come out at Seagate?

Comment To lose two CxO-level officers in one day is exceptional, even by Seagate standards. Last week's axing of CEO Bill Watkins and the resignation of COO David Wickersham resembled a day of the long knives in Scotts Valley. So how did it come to this? The events timeline looks like this: 1. At a Barclays Capital analysts' …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2009
The Register breaking news

Seagate cuts go deep

Going further than its previous 10 per cent US workforce cut targeted by a recent SEC filing, Seagate has made another filing saying 6 per cent of its worldwide workforce will go and executives and other professionals will take pay cuts. This comes two days after the replacement of its CEO, Bill Watkins, and COO, David …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2009

Hello Tosh, wanna a disk business?

Having failed to sell of its hard disk drive business to Western Digital Fujitsu is now trying to sell part of it to Toshiba. The result would be the world's largest supplier of 2.5-inch drives. Toshiba has admitted it is talking to Fujitsu, whilst Fujitsu would only say it is talking to a number of suppliers. The price is …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2009

Seagate replaces CEO

Updated Seagate has startlingly and suddenly replaced its long-serving CEO Bill Watkins with chairman Stephen Luczo. It's also lost its chief operating officer, indicating turmoil at the top levels in the company. Luczo continues as chairman of the board, possibly indicating that being CEO is a temporary appointment. He'll agree with …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2009
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Seagate to slash up to 10 per cent of staff

Seagate's December sales were much worse than feared and the company is expected to respond to revenues falling off a cliff by sending up to ten per cent of its staff after them. In early December Seagate, the world leader in the hard disk drive market, lowered its quarterly revenue forecast to a $2.3bn - $2.6bn range, from an …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2009
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Seagate heading for the wild west

In a storage press event today, Seagate said it was going to produce a network-attached storage (NAS) product for the home and and a hard drive able to plug into a TV and play media content. Its coming enterprise solid state drive will combine single and multi-level cell technology and a second attempt at hybrid drives will be …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2008

Seagate earnings slump 83%

The economic crisis has slammed into Seagate's quarterly earnings, with the storage company suffering an 83.1 percent drop in net income. Several recent earnings reports from storage companies signal a downturn - EMC, Imation, QLogic and Sun for example. Seagate is now following suit. For its first fiscal 2009 quarter to the …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2008

Seagate CEO cops to sloppy floppy in Q4

Seagate says the storage market is chugging along just fine, but the company's late-mover position in notebook and nearline markets made for a disappointing fourth quarter. "The real issue here is we've been sloppy on product execution," said Seagate CEO Bill Watkins, during an earnings conference call. "We've been sloppy on …
Austin Modine, 16 Jul 2008

Will Seagate build a flash SSD foundry?

The ebullient Seagate CEO Bill Watkins has made it clear that Seagate thinks flash solid state drives (SSDs) are interesting and Seagate will sell them - but not yet. When Seagate does sell a Seagate-brand SSD how will it make it? Will there be a Seagate flash foundry? A customer buys a hard disk drive (HDD) array from an OEM or …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2008

Seagate lawsuit targets solid-state drive maker

Seagate has fired off its first lawsuit at a maker of solid-state drives since CEO Bill Watkins hinted last month that the company might be forced into taking such action. The target is US-based STEC, a manufacturer of SSDs for big business, the military and aerospace applications. Seagate accuses STEC of infringing four of …
Tony Smith, 15 Apr 2008
Seagate logo

Seagate CEO flips patent finger at SSD makers

Seagate's CEO said he believes manufacturers of solid-state drives are treading on his company's technological toes. But in an interview, Bill Watkins hinted that Seagate won't sue unless SSDs become more popular. Speaking to Fortune magazine, Watkins said that right now laptops with SSDs are just too expensive and deliver too …
Tony Smith, 26 Mar 2008
Seagate logo

Seagate says storage demand better than expected

Seagate surprised itself in the last quarter by shipping 47 million disk drives, more than it had actually planned for. The storage vendor's results for the first quarter ending 28 September showed revenues up 17.6 per cent to $3.3bn, with net income leaping from $19m last year to $355m. This turned in earnings per share of $0. …
Joe Fay, 17 Oct 2007
Seagate logo

Seagate raises financial outlook

In brief Disk drive behemoth Seagate is giving a notably large bump to its fiscal first quarter revenue forecast today, citing strong demand, favorably high prices and a better product mix. The world's largest hard-disk maker increased its forecast for the three moths ending September 28 to a range of $3.15bn to $3.25bn. During its end- …
Austin Modine, 28 Aug 2007
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Seagate to start shifting SSDs

The CEO of hard disk drive (HDD) maker Seagate Technology has declared the firm's intention to enter the Flash memory market. Bill Watkins said in an interview with CNET that Seagate will begin shifting solid-state drives (SSD) based on Flash memory chip technology from next year. It's a marked move away from the world's …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Aug 2007
Cat 5 cable

Seagate income soars with $359m tax break

Seagate posted a boost in fourth quarter income thanks to higher revenue and a one-time tax benefit. Income for the largest US hard-drive manufacturer rose to $541m, compared to $7m a year earlier. Revenue increased about 9 per cent to $2.74bn, up from $2.53bn the same quarter the previous year. Seagate's income rose sharply …
Austin Modine, 19 Jul 2007

Seagate takes EVault

In a last minute spot of Christmas shopping, Seagate has bagged online backup provider EVault for $185m in a bid to expand its services effort. The California-based outfit was founded in 1997 and employs 250 staff servicing 8,500 customers. Seagate CEO Bill Watkins said: "Over the past three years, Seagate has been executing a …
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Seagate slams profit-ignorant rivals

Seagate gave itself a pat on the back today in its September quarter report for holding the revenue line against hard drive competitors "who seem intent on trying to capture market share without regard to profitability". Fighting fire with fire , Seagate is determined to retain market share, and that will mean more price cuts. …
Drew Cullen, 25 Oct 2006
SGI logo hardware close-up

Seagate gets litigious with small hard drive rival

Less than ten days after it rolled out a series of small hard disc drives, Seagate has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against tiny drive maker Cornice. Seagate claims that six of its patents have been violated in "several areas of disc drive technology." The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for Delaware, seeks …
Ashlee Vance, 23 Jun 2004