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EDA180

There are certain people that are unlikely to leave those whom they encounter without an opinion. John Bruggeman is one such person. If you’ve ever watched him present, he controls the stage like an old-time revival preacher. He’s not convincing you of anything; he’s expounding absolute truths and you better get on board if you know what’s good for you. There are those in the press who have been scolded by him for not promoting his vision or embracing some new buzzword he coined.

Most recently, he’s been the force behind and face in front of Cadence’s much trumpeted EDA360 program, with which, depending on your view, Cadence finally took the EDA industry in a direction customers have been needing for years, or they just discovered and then wrapped a marketing program around something other EDA companies claim to have been saying for years.

But, in truth, they did more than just create a marketing campaign, regardless of whether you think the message is new. They also reorganized the company along the lines of EDA360, so credit has to be given for putting some action behind the words.

It was just announced on Friday, however, that Mr. Bruggeman is now leaving the company. Rumors may swirl as to why; the official word is, of course, all nicey nice. And catty water-cooler gossip is probably unbecoming. The real question is, does this leave EDA360 intact or is this the result of a decision that the program didn’t work?

That’s no minor question. It’s one thing to say that a marketing program didn’t have the desired ROI. Happens all the time. But because they put the organization behind the program, a complete repudiation of the message would further necessitate another round of big internal changes. Something Cadence could probably do without.

Checking with them, yes, there is some reorg, but not undoing the 360-centric structure. Rather, marketing is being de-centralized, with each operating group getting a marketing contingent. The intent is to bring marketing and engineering closer together. Which isn’t a bad idea. It’s harder to yell at the other guy if you actually know his or her name or what their face looks like.

Pankaj Mayor is taking on the role of acting CMO for the time being (although it’s not clear whether it will be a C role ongoing). The reasons for John’s departure will remain the topic of speculation (unless you know what really happened, in which case… you know how to get ahold of us…).

Cadence’s message answering my query regarding the future of EDA360 included the statement, ” We believe this [organizational] change will intensify and accelerate our strategy towards fulfilling the vision of EDA360.” Which would make it seem that, from an execution standpoint, it’s more or less business as usual.

So for now, it appears only to be John that’s doing a 180.

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