NEC Display President: We're Not Going Anywhere


"It's a very difficult time for any sector and every company. The unfortunate part is that there's been a misunderstanding," Richer said in a interview.

Various published reports stated that NEC Corp. would stop manufacturing LCD panels, and NEC Corp.'s earnings presentation on Friday seemed to indicate that the company was exiting its LCD-related businesses altogether in the midst of laying off 20,000 worldwide employees. But Richer explained that NEC Display Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corp, would continue to produce monitors using LCD components sourced from other suppliers.

"NEC Display is not going anywhere," Richer said. "We're a solutions company, and any announcement from NEC Corp. has nothing to do with NEC Display Solutions. We're here for the long run."

NEC Display is not out of the LCD monitor business, Richer affirmed, and the company will also continue producing digital signage and projectors.

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"We are a display company, but we source our products from various companies," Richer said. "We made our changes last spring, haven't lost any employees since then, and we've reinvested a lot of money into the channel. We revised our student program and also our SMB program. I think it's pretty clear."

Richer said NEC Display was focusing more on large-format displays -- the company recently announced an 82-inch LCD and on Monday announced an ultra-narrow bezel in a 46-inch X451UN display -- and also software for digital signage. It will continue to make improvements to its channel program throughout 2009, he said.

"LCD doesn't equal NEC Display Solutions and when we started reading the online comments, [people] were getting the wrong impression," Richer said.

"NEC's consistently shown ProActive an ongoing commitment, so I haven't been disappointed yet," said Marc Wolfe, CEO of ProActive, a solution provider and NEC partner. "I've been with companies through financial trouble. Maybe it's old school of me, but I look at building a relationship. They've committed resources and committed team members to work with me on large deals. I've called people higher than my sales reps and been able to interact and been able to move things forward."

Article updated 2/3/09