The Avant! Story

from the it-keeps-getting-better dept

I’ve been following the story of the various Avant! lawsuits since 1997, and it just keeps getting better and more interesting. Business Week is now running an article all about Avant! and its CEO, Gerry Hsu. They talk about the lawsuits (based on the fact that Avant! used code stolen from Cadence for some of their products), but the story goes well beyond that. It seems that Hsu (who was only fined for his role in the code theft, while others went to jail) also has been running the public company as if it were a sole proprietorship. He hired his son to run operations in Asia, despite having little experience, and gave him a huge starting salary and bonuses. He also made a number of questionable investments and has used Avant! to help prop up those investments. At the same time, however, he’s as entrenched as he ever was on the Avant! board. While others can’t believe he hasn’t been fired, the board (made up mostly of insiders) is setting it up to make it nearly impossible to fire him. It’s a case study in how a company should not be run.

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