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done most of the things that we need for today. We’ve covered the processor, connectivity and multimedia technologies, which we see as the three key elements. I think the focus of the business now is to fully exploit what we have and also bring these three technologies together and to leverage them as platforms too. A bigger focus now is to provide enhanced financial performance. That’s the plan. Hanns Windele: How much was the acquisition of MIPS a game-changer? Sir Hossein Yassaie: When the MIPS opportunity came up, I saw the opportunity to speed up what we were doing. MIPS brought in a strong customer base despite the fact that it wasn’t making as much investment as it should have. The other important thing about MIPS was that we got a very clear commitment from Google to support Android, and its historical Linux ecosystem was quite strong. It also doubled up our engineering capability. In the IP business you have to do the licensing first before the volume ramps up. I think the big issue with MIPS was that it needed certainty about the future. Over the past few years we have come to realise that there are a lot of engineers out there who really love MIPS and so from the technological point of view it is highly respected. We dealt with the issues of uncertainty and investment and what we announced last year – that we had 50 or so licenses – represents a dramatic change in customer commitment, and we are seeing that momentum continuing. As to the royalties: we are being conservative. They might go down and they might be flat before they pick-up. That’s just a time-line statement. Hanns Windele: what is the main factor that leads to the success of an IP company? Sir Hossein Yassaie: The IP business is only perceived to be successful after the event. There are many IP companies that don’t succeed and I can give you a long list. To succeed in the IP business you must have patience and you must believe in whatever it is you are trying to achieve. If you’re just trying to secure short-term revenue contributions it won’t work. But if you have a long-term view then it might. I have noticed some EDA companies are getting into IP in one form or another, but when you look at Imagination, when you talk about IP it’s not just about developing the core, it’s more about developing the ecosystem around the IP than the IP itself. Hanns Windele: Imagination is rich in technology, but looking at your stock price I see you’ve not exactly been rewarded for that, have you? Sir Hossein Yassaie: I think the reality is that markets, particularly these days, are short-term and care only about limited horizons. It’s difficult for a CEO of an IP company to produce short-term responses to financial requirements. We have to take a strategic view based on the three key areas of processor, connectivity and multimedia. That does require huge investment. If I concentrated on just one of these the share price would perhaps, in the short-term, be higher. But as a CEO you must also look forward in time to say three years from now and create higher and more sustainable shareholder value in the longer range. Hanns Windele: Do you think that Imagination is vulnerable to being taken over? Sir Hossein Yassaie: We have multiple major customers who value our independence. These are people who are long-term supporters who have an understanding of where we are heading. This gives me the confidence to believe that we can carry on as we are and execute the plan. Hanns Windele: This column is called Iconic Insights – is there anything you’ve learnt from your icons or want to impart to those who might follow your guidance? Sir Hossein Yassaie: I don’t really know what the notion of iconic means, but if you are asking me what I care about, then the real driving motivation is that I want to make a difference. When you get to a certain age and you look back it’s nice to be able to say, “I did that”. I certainly have enjoyed what I’m doing. Making a positive difference in a large enough scale is the thing that drives me and to do that I don’t think that you can take a short-term view of things. You have to have a vision. You have to have planning and you have to be prepared to be knocked down. When you’ve been knocked down you have to be able to get back up again and continue on your path. QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS What are your favourite leisure activities? Hiking and walking in the middle of nowhere – places like the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales. What are your hobbies? Like everyone else I have a great interest in music, but also walking and some sports and I’m a keen follower of current affairs. What (non-business) book are you inspired by? I enjoyed ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. If you could take up a senior role outside technology business where would that be? I would probably be an academic teaching the next generation. If you ended up in prison, who would you share your cell with? I think I’d settle for being in a prison cell on my own, reading books and listening to music. My favourite band is Queen. So I’d hope to have their albums with me. What is the one gadget you couldn’t live without? My Apple iPhone 6. If you had more time how would you spend it? I would spend it with my family, my two daughters and my wife, definitely. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2015 19


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