Election USA and Election GSA

It’s the election season. The race for President of the United States is on.

Pick up any newspaper and one is already overdosed with the Republican candidate shucking and jiving to become the presidential nominee, and the early Democratic responses are planting media-fed land mines designed to derail the president’s competition before it is even selected. Politics is a full contact sport and it’s just about now the gloves are coming off; the winner being the one who can take the Rocky Balboa beating in a designer suit.

Personally, while generally interested in politics, I find myself awaiting the results of the earliest primaries to anoint the Republican who will face off with President Obama. I have my own opinion about the candidates from both parties but recognize our system selects the opposing nominee long before I get any say, living in California. In other words, while imperfect, some small subset of Americans will select, in this case, the Republican challenger for the Oval Office. I suppose I could move to Iowa or New Hampshire if I wanted more of a voice, but I’ve come to accept the process, flaws and all, and believe “the system works,” regardless of the party of the incumbent. Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, I have the choice to be an early influencer if I so desire, and if I don’t, well, that’s my choice, too.

The election is a long way away measured in months, speeches, dollars, drama…and wafers.

Yes, for the semiconductor industry the election hopefully occurs in the midst of our industry’s return to the secular growth following the two to three seasonal quarters of “correction” and “inventory management,” code words for “we’re selling less than we expected.”

I’ve read many analyst reports calling for the second-half return of semiconductor growth and in a sustainable way. Phrases like “tail wind” and “global, secular demand” punctuate generally upbeat predictions for our industry’s next big chance to satisfy the consumer and bandwidth product consumption that drives our collective bottom line. In a way, we’re somehow relegated to awaiting that demand. In another way, we are not.

Policy decisions for the semiconductor industry cannot solve the recessional pressures. But they can soften the landing. The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) exists to facilitate growth in the best times and downside management in the worst. It offers programs, working groups, technology advances and best practices to its members to manage their businesses with relevant information and many more resources.

Deciding what resources are available to the industry is the purview of the GSA management and its board. Experienced leaders from around the world team up to steward the organization and add their unique experiences to create a portfolio of advice, wisdom, serious debate and valuable programs. It’s been my great pleasure to be a part of that team for the past five years; a role I have valued personally and to which I have attempted to repay with value of my own.

It’s also election season at the GSA.

Hardly comparable to the race for the White House, scaled down to a tiny $300B industry, the role of the GSA Board member is of great significance to the management of our community of semiconductor-related companies. Unlike the national elections, we candidates are respectful and civil towards each other. But, we value our contributions proportionately as much, and for good reason. There is much at stake as we function in an uncertain global economy with uncertain political outcomes.

I am seeking reelection to the GSA Board. Please help me reduce the uncertainty in the semiconductor industry by voting for a passionate and serious contributor to the GSA, and a supporter of those policies that will help us to weather the outcome of much larger elections, and the challenges that go with them.

[ More about Jack Harding ]

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