has appointed its chairman and founder, Davidi Gilo, as its CEO.
Gilo is replacing President and CEO Emil Jachmann, who has been named the company's president.
It would seem that serial entrepreneur Gilo has two options for Zen. He could try to lead the company himself to growth and profitability, or he could groom it for sale.
Going by Gilo's record, he may well opt to sell the company.
In 1999, he sold
(Nasdaq:INTC) for $1.6 billion. Gilo had taken over the company's helm half a year beforehand.
In May 2000, he prepared
(Nasdaq:VYYO) for its public offering on Nasdaq by taking control hands-on a few months before. Vyyo raised $90 million. Today, Gilo serves as Vyyo's chairman.
Hence his latest move could foreshadow Zen's sale. Alternatively, as CEO, Gilo may prefer to focus on bringing the company up to scratch.
Call that revenues?
Zen's revenues have to date been negligible. In the first quarter of 2001, revenues came to $182,000 compared with $87,000 in the first quarter of 2000.
R&D expenses significantly increased to $3.1 million, compared with $1.6 million in the parallel quarter last year.
But Zen has $92 million cash thanks to its stock offering in London in 2000.
Zen develops components for optical-media systems, such as CD and DVD (digital versatile disc or digital video disc). Its core technology, TrueX, improves the reading capability of optical media. The technology is protected by 23 registered patents and another eight patents pending approval.
Gilo today said that Zen has abandoned hopes of achieving substantial sales by year-end 2001 because of the worldwide slowdown, especially in PC sales. Nor can the company see ahead to 2002
"I am aware of the challenges we face. We will make an effort to enter into the Japanese market in order to meet our targets," Gilo said.
Two weeks ago the press reported that Zen is acquiring most of the assets of
(Nasdaq:TIGA) subsidiary Silicon Value for $22.25 million in cash.
Zen went public at a market value of $500 million. Within two months it had reached a record value of almost $1 billion. But the tech stock crash sent it diving to a market cap of $180 million.
Silicon Value is a Jerusalem-based fabless that specializes in chips for data-communication networks. Its customers include