We all know and love e-ink, due to the screen technology being prevalent on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo e-readers. There has been a shakeup of management at the company as Scott Liu has resigned as the Chairman and CEO of e-Ink and Vice Chairman Felix Ho has been named interim Chairman and CEO.
Scott Liu was the primary driver behind the success of e-Ink, when it was originally known as Primeview. He spearheaded the initiative to buyout its partner e-Ink in 2009 and replaced Neonode as the company Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Pocketbook, and Onyx Boox used to power the displays of their line of e-readers. There is no reason on exactly why he left the company, or what he is going to do next.
He was replaced by Felix Ho, who has assumed the responsibility of Interim Chairman and CEO of e-Ink Holdings effective immediately. Mr. Ho has extensive experience in electronic displays, RFID, packaging, and consumer goods industries, and was one of the founding employees of the company. In the past year, Mr. Ho has managed the company’s e-reader business worldwide. He has also been Chairman and President of subsidiary e-Ink Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 2010.
e-Ink has seen a decline in sales in the last year, with steady losses every quarter. In Q3 2012, the company saw a loss of $7.99 million US. This is a far cry from the record one billion dollars in revenue in 2011. The company is seeing a lack of demand of e-Ink products, as most companies have shifted to a tablet strategy. Barnes and Noble is giving away Simple Touch e-Readers for free if you buy a tablet, which is very telling on how many readers are actually being sold these days. Even the e-Ink Triton 2 color display screens are not doing very well with Ectaco and Pocketbook being the only licensed vendors, and their products traditionally do well on the market.
Smart watches, keyboards, and other cool products are starting to employ e-Ink technology to make them last months on a single charge. Perhaps the display company will be shifting business priorities on other uses of the display screen technology and gravitate away from e-readers.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.