Flextronics

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Flex
Public
Traded as NASDAQFLEX
Industry Electronics manufacturing services and Original design manufacturer - ODM
Founded 1969
Founder Joe McKenzie and Barbara Ann McKenzie
Headquarters Singapore
Key people
Mike McNamara, CEO
Website www.flextronics.com

Flex (also known as Flextronics International Ltd. or Flextronics) is an American international supply chain solutions company that offers design, manufacturing, distribution and aftermarket services[1] to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It is the second largest global electronics manufacturing services (EMS), original design manufacturer (ODM) company by revenue, behind only Taiwan's Foxconn.

Flex has manufacturing operations in over 40 countries, totaling approximately 27.2 million square feet and 200,000 employees.

History[edit]

Flextronics' Singapore headquarters in August 2006.
Logo used until 2015.

In 1969, the company was founded in Silicon Valley as Flextronics, Inc. by Joe McKenzie. In 1980, the company was sold to Bob Todd, Joe Sullivan and Jack Watts. In 1981, Flextronics became a publicly held company.

In 1990, the company returned to being a private company in a leveraged buyout and was renamed as Flextronics International, Ltd. with Singapore as its new base. In 1993, the company received venture capital funding through Sequoia Capital,[2] and became a public held company again in 1994. The company closed its contract electronic manufacturing plant in Richardson, Texas in 1996. The company acquired two companies in Hong Kong, Astron Group and FICO Plastics Ltd. and a Swedish-based company, Ericsson Business Networks. In 2000, the company ranked third on "100 Best-Managed Companies" by IndustryWeek. In 2005, the company purchased the manufacturing division of Nortel Networks, and Solectron in 2007. In 2006 Flextronics took over a part of the production of Lego, but in 2009 Lego decided to end relations with Flextronics and purchase the production facilities in Mexico and Hungary. On June 4, 2007, Flextronics offered to purchase Solectron for US$3.6 billion and thus making Solectron a subsidiary of Flextronics. The acquisition of Solectron was completed by end of October 2007, earlier than anticipated.

On March 18, 2009, Flextronics was invited to ring the NASDAQ stock market opening bell, signifying the day’s start of trading and celebrated 15-year NASDAQ-listed anniversary. Mike McNamara (CEO) and a group of top executives represented the company at the ringing of the bell.[3] On August 25, 2009, Flextronics announced that it was chosen by LG Electronics (LGE), a global provider of advanced digital products and applied technologies, to manufacture 19, 22, 26, 32, and 37-inch LCD television receivers at its Ciudad Juárez, Mexico facility for distribution to the North and South American markets.[4] On September 2, 2009, Flextronics announced that Multek received Danaher Test and Measurement's 2009 Outstanding Supplier Award. The award was given based on quality, delivery performance, engineering support and cost for work with two of Danaher's business units, Tektronix and Fluke.[5]

On September 15, 2010, Flextronics announced that it had been chosen by Brammo, Inc., a global leader in the electric motorcycle business, to be its manufacturing partner for the production and distribution of plug-in electric motorcycles and components. The partnership represented an expansion of Flextronics' Automotive Division's portfolio for battery-powered vehicles and complemented its expertise in high voltage and energy recuperation for the automotive market.[6][7] In 2010, the company signed an agreement with Lenovo to provide manufacturing for Europe. That same year, Flextronics also signed an agreement with Brammo to provide acquisition and manufacturing in North America, Asia and Europe.

In 2012, Flextronics incubated Elementum, a start-up supply chain management (SCM) company based in Mountain View, California. In 2014, Elementum was spun off from Flextronics as its own separate entity.[8]

In 2014, Flextronics was named as the manufacturer of the Fitbit Force by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the context of a complete recall of the product due to rashes developing on the wrists of its users.[9]

In 2015, Flex, acquired Wink smart home platform to bring the Intelligence of Things "Home". Flex has been a strategic partner to Wink, serving as their primary supplier of hardware and firmware, including the Wink HUB and Wink Relay, which include core intellectual property developed within Flex.[10]

Lab IX[edit]

In 2013, Flextronics launched Lab IX, an accelerator program based out of Milpitas (where the company also has an R&D center), which will award $500,000 to each selected company to grow their ideas and bring it to market.

The focus of Lab IX is to find start-ups that are less than three years old, have less than $5 million in funding — “early stage disruptive companies incorporating hardware and software innovation”. In addition to a capital injection, Lab IX will also provide access to Lab IX and Flextronics’ engineers and designers, including IDEO, access to manufacturing and prototyping equipment — some $30 million in the R&D center alone. Those who look like they may be progressing to the next stage of their development get access to Flextronics’ network of factories for manufacturing, procurement network and marketing network.[11]

The Intelligence of Things[edit]

INTELLIGENCE is a quarterly print and digital magazine published by Flxplore the concept of co-innovation and the “Intelligence of Things”, what Flextronics sees as building blocks of the post-Information Age era. Written for today’s forward-thinking and innovative business leaders, INTELLIGENCE and theintelligenceofthings.com spark a new conversation about the potential to evolve smart concepts and sketches into scalable intelligent products for consumers.

Launched in January 2015, INTELLIGENCE will monitor the trends and developments in the Age of Intelligence, reporting on the most groundbreaking technologies redefining business today for the world tomorrow.[12]

Rebranding[edit]

On July 23, 2015 Flex announced the rebranding efforts that includes everything in the company — a legal name change, a new identity package, a new brand package, a new set of communications architecture and brand architecture, and a new tagline. The new tagline is "Live Smarter." Our idea of "Live Smarter" really embodies the vision and mission of the company, which is bringing intelligence to everything, whether it is a solution set, a product or designing.something.[13]

Controversies[edit]

Breach of contracts[edit]

Flextronics was sued what was apparent in breach of contract with Beckman Coulter Inc., a medical device maker. The case dates from 1997, when Beckman Coulter entered into an agreement with Dovatron, a unit of the Dii Group, to provide circuit boards for a Beckman blood analyzer. Flextronics acquired the Dii Group in 1999 and, according to Beckman, shortly thereafter Flextronics refused to provide the circuit boards unless it bought other electronic components from the company.

Beckman filed suit in early 2001, seeking $2.2 million in damages, which were cited as the costs incurred in having to retool one of its plants to manufacture the circuit boards in-house.[14][15]

At the end of trial, Flextronics paid $23million for the damages.[16]

Leak of iPhone 3GS and iPad confidential data[edit]

One of the former Flextronics executives, Walter Shimoon pled guilty to committing wire fraud and security fraud by providing confidential information related to iPhone and iPod sales figures in the third and fourth quarters of 2009. He also leaked details surrounding the iPhone 3GS, which was unreleased at the time, and the still unannounced iPad.[17][18][19]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Flextronics - About Us
  2. ^ "Sequoia Capital funds Flextronics". 
  3. ^ http://www.companieshistory.com/flextronics-international-presentation-video/
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Miles, Matthew. "Brammo Partners with Flextronics — Industry News". CycleWorld Magazine. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  7. ^ Williams, Christina (16 September 2010). "Brammo teams with Flextronics". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Flextronics Spins Off Startup to Put Supply Chain Software in the Cloud". 
  9. ^ http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Fitbit-Recalls-Force-Activity-Tracking-Wristband/
  10. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/flex-to-bring-the-intelligence-of-things-home-with-wink-acquisition-300179504.html
  11. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/23/hardware-giant-flextronics-is-launching-lab-ix-an-accelerator-that-gives-500k-to-each-startup-to-grow/
  12. ^ https://www.theintelligenceofthings.com/research/
  13. ^ http://news.flextronics.com/newsroom/press-releases/press-release-details/2015/Meet-Flex-Former-HP-CMO-Michael-Mendenhall-Rebrands-a-New-Company/default.aspx
  14. ^ http://www.callahan-law.com/Verdicts-and-Settlements/Callahan-Blaine-Wins-934-Million-for-Beckman-Coulter.shtml Callahan & Blaine Wins $934 Million for Beckman Coulter
  15. ^ http://www.mddionline.com/article/california-jury-awards-beckman-coulter-934-million California Jury Awards Beckman Coulter $934 Million
  16. ^ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10698823666934400 Flextronics Will Pay $23 Million To Beckman to Settle a Lawsuit
  17. ^ http://bgr.com/2011/07/06/former-flextronics-exec-pleads-guilty-to-leaking-iphone-ipad-secrets/ Former Flextronics exec pleads guilty to leaking iPhone, iPad secrets
  18. ^ http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/flextronics-vp-sued-for-leaking-iphone-4-ipad-details/8936 Flextronics VP sued for leaking iPhone 4, iPad details
  19. ^ http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/apples-weak-link-on-secrets-contract-equipment-manufacturing/42866 Apple's weak link on secrets: Contract equipment manufacturing?

External links[edit]