6/4/2009 10:08:00 AM
Price’s potential at Brightstar
The prospect of a Tanny Price and Rod Millar double act at the helm of Brightstar is either a partnership made in heaven or hell. They appear extreme opposites on the surface. Price recognised the value of the ‘softer stuff’ and made it a priority when she was managing director of Avenir. She invited staff to put up pictures and doodles of their families and interests on a wall, as well as observations and criticisms on the company.
She was also a master at maintaining strong relations in the industry.
Millar is the man most commonly associated with the fantastic success of 20:20 in its heyday, and its hard-nosed, no-nonsense sales and commercial culture. These two seemingly polar approaches will now work together. Perhaps if they combined two years ago, their personalities would have immediately clashed. But the market and the individuals involved have changed.
Both are misleading caricatures, experienced hands in distribution and arguably the best in their respective fields. The addition of Price’s experience in airtime and dealing with networks is an invaluable asset for Brightstar at the current point in its strategy. It has scale, logistics, an IT partner, and this week made massive additions to its supplier arrangements and senior personnel. There is a clear objective: the destination for connected devices.
There is some uncertainty now on the challenge of building or aquiring airtime systems. Some of the existing airtime players are looking vulnerable, but many also have unrealistic valuations of their businesses. Brightstar has the air of a sleeping giant, and in Price, it could have found the critical catalyst to not just awaken the business, but the broader distribution market.