ON Partners Recruits CFO for Achronix Semiconductor Corp.

October 25, 2022 – Fast-growing executive search firm ON Partners has helped to place semiconductor industry veteran Mahesh Karanth as the new CFO of Achronix Semiconductor Corp., a leader in high-performance FPGAs and eFPGA IP. He will take over for Howard Brodsky, who is retiring after 16 years at Achronix. The assignment was spearheaded by Brad Westveld, the search firm’s co-founder and partner.

“Mahesh is a proven operational executive with an impressive track record of delivering strong results across multiple financial disciplines and industries,” said Robert Blake, president and CEO of Achronix. “Mahesh’s success and financial expertise as a chief financial officer, especially at the critical IPO stage, combined with his outstanding leadership qualities are invaluable additions to the Achronix team as we position the company for our next phase of growth.”

Reporting directly to Mr. Blake, Mr. Karanth’s role at Achronix will include oversight of business operations as he will lead the finance, human resources, facilities, and information services teams. “As semiconductor companies seek new ways to differentiate their products, Achronix has uniquely positioned itself as the only independent supplier of high-end FPGA and eFPGA IP solutions designed to address a wide variety of data acceleration applications,” said Mr. Karanth. “Achronix has achieved exceptional growth, with expanding opportunities for further growth ahead. I look forward to being part of the leadership team that is primed to lead Achronix through this exciting next phase and beyond.”

Achronix Semiconductor Corp. is a fabless semiconductor corporation based in Santa Clara, CA, offering high-end FPGA-based data acceleration solutions, designed to address high-performance, compute-intensive, and real-time processing applications.

Top-Ranked Recruiters

With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial, and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco; and New York. ON Partners is one of the fastest growing search firms and this year is ranked as one of the Top 20 recruiting platforms in the nation by Hunt Scanlon Media.

Related: ON Partners Recruits CFO for Bushel

Mr. Westveld’s career in executive search has spanned more than 20 years. Before ON Partners, Mr. Westveld served as senior client partner in the electronics and systems practice at Korn Kerry. Before that, he was director, semiconductor practice at CT Partners; senior associate at Heidrick & Struggles; and manager of staffing/ sourcing/ organization development for Motorola. Mr. Westveld leverages his expertise in fields where technology and business converge, including E-commerce, software, semiconductors, consumer electronics, lifestyle tech brands, IoT, cloud, AI, M2M, robotics, EV, and related industries. Recent marquee clients include: Baker Hughes, John Deere, Jabil, Lucid Motors, Akamai, Samsara, Samsung, Lenovo, Amazon, Tesla, Global Foundries, and AMD, as well as high growth start-ups like SiFive, Ambiq Micro, Osaro, AmplifAI, and ConverseNow.

Evolving CFO Roles

Since COVID-19 struck, CFOs are being asked to play an ever-broader role. “The tumultuous environment companies are operating within demand a different skill-set in the CFO chair,” said Tim Conti, managing partners at ON Partners. “CFOs are playing a critical strategic role in companies, not only to pull levers necessary to secure a company’s financial platform, but also to position the company to emerge in a strong competitive positioning in a marketplace where not all will survive. This requires the CFO to lead from the front, be strategic and savvy, to navigate a company through choppy waters. When boards and CEOs do not have confidence that they have this strategic CFO, then they have no choice but to seek out an alternative.”

COVID-19 Creating New Pressures for CFOs

For all the hardship that the pandemic has created for companies everywhere, there are valuable lessons to be learned, especially for chief financial offers, says a new report from Tatum. Brad Bauer, vice president with the firm, recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss how CFOs are meeting perhaps the greatest challenge of their careers.

“In times like these, where businesses demand hyper-agility, being a functional specialist isn’t good enough,” said Bryan Buck, partner at ON Partners. “It’s required now that CFOs can see around corners and understand the physical (and digital) trends that are reshaping their world – and then act quickly. They need to think like P&L owners – not like accountants. Regardless of the product or service their company offers, customer expectations have changed. And the CFOs in highest demand right now are the ones who have proven to be nimble and business-focused enough to drive organization’s to where the puck is moving (both organically and inorganically).”

This business environment is also putting more pressure on CFOs. “There’s definitely more need for CFOs to operate with transparency around the realities of the market conditions, how those conditions are impacting the business in the short and long term, and what strategic steps are being taken to address the challenges faced,” said Mr. Conti. “Shareholders understand that market conditions are challenging, and they’ll be more patient in these unique times, but only if they have confidence in the CFO’s leadership and strategy.”

“Yes – and it’s industry-agnostic,” Mr. Buck added. “For public companies specifically, those in negatively impacted sectors are trying to survive the rapid slow down, and maintain various levels of ongoing business operations, while planning and positioning for a potential recovery that could happen within the next few quarters…or the next few years,” he said. “Public finance leaders on the other end of that spectrum are seeing tremendous growth and demand, but they’re also cognizant that current share price reflects Wall Street’s expectation of perfection – leaving no room for quarterly missteps.”

Related: ON Partners Assists Papa John’s with CFO Search

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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