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Richard Scott gives global perspective on Harris Broadcast sale

3 May 2012
Richard Scott gives global perspective on Harris Broadcast sale

Earlier this week, Harris Corporation President and CEO William Brown announced the board’s decision to divest the Broadcast Communications division, writes Fergal Ringrose. “The decision to divest Broadcast Communications resulted from a thorough review of our business portfolio, which determined that the business is no longer aligned with the company’s long-term strategy,” said Brown. “The plan to sell these assets supports our disciplined approach to capital allocation, and we intend to use the proceeds to return cash to shareholders and invest in growing our core businesses.” Commenting yesterday to TVBEurope on this decision, Harris Broadcast Communications Senior Vice President Global Sales and Services Richard Scott (pictured) said, “strategically the place to start is the arrival of Bill Brown as CEO last November. “He was appointed by the board in order to take some actions with Harris Corporation. It’s no secret that the defense and government sectors are under pressure, and not just in the United Sates. Bill Brown’s job is to position Harris Corporation for growth.” Whereas the steering strategy under previous CEO Howard Lance was to “broaden the portfolio, in order to avoid being dependent on one sector,” the new direction is to “get more focused, and invest more aggressively in core business in this changing environment. That is a change in strategy, I would suggest,” said Scott. “We are at great pains to point out that this is not about the value of Harris Broadcast or the management team – rather, strategically, it’s about maximising the value of a sale [of Harris Broadcast] so that those funds can be reinvested” in the core Government and RF divisions. “It is absolutely business as usual [in terms of] commitments we’ve formed with customers, suppliers and employees. We will pay our bills and our employees, and we will honour all contracts,” he said. “We had a very successful NAB with several product launches, and we have a very strong order book – and none of those warranties or commitments are affected. And in fact, in some territories we’re actually increasing our resources in field sales for example,” said Scott. Complimented on a fine job done at NAB not to ship any leaks on the impending sell-off, Scott said “that’s an indication of how seriously we take our corporate governance. [Those who knew] were under an extremely strict NDA. But in fact, the board did not actually make it’s decision until after NAB – no decision was taken until Friday April 27.”

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