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By Julian Nettlefold

BATTLESPACE caught up with FLIR at AUSA for our annual brief on developments within the Company over the past year. In May of this year FLIR announced a new President and CEO, Andy Teich, to succeed from Earl Lewis (BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year in 2010). FLIR has also had to deal with Sequestration and the subsequent drop in U.S. Department of defense (DoD) spending. We met up with Andy Teich at the FLIR AUSA Booth on Day 1, whilst Bill Sundermeier, President of FLIR Government Systems, gave an in-depth breakfast brief update on the Government Systems segment the next morning.

Earl Lewis announced his intention to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer of FLIR Systems Inc. effective on May 19, 2013. He will assume a senior advisor role to the Company to aid in the transition and will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors of FLIR. Mr. Andrew C. Teich, currently President of the Company’s Commercial Systems division, will assume the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer of FLIR upon Mr. Lewis’s retirement.

“This is the culmination of a process that began more than two years ago with three of my direct reports completing the Harvard Advanced Management Program,” said Earl Lewis. “Approximately a year ago, we formed a special committee of the Board of Directors and hired outside consultants to begin the difficult process of selecting one person from among three excellent internal candidates in Bill Sundermeier, Tony Trunzo, and Andy. The difficulty in making a final decision was a result of the Board’s strong belief that all three were highly competent and capable leaders.”

Andy Teich President & CEO Interview

“As you know, we have followed the spectacular growth of FLIR for many years, your appointment, for us, is the next step in this growth?” The Editor asked Andy Teich.

“The next step in growth for FLIR will come from three areas: First in the broadening of the sensing technologies that FLIR is involved in. We will offer sensing technologies that cover everything from visible to LWIR, with a focus on having an HD capability in each band. Second we will continue to develop and lower the cost of sensors in the thermal spectrum with a particular focus on offering innovative solutions using low-cost uncooled IT technology. And third, we will continue to expand our CBRNE suite of sensing technologies, where we offer unique in-field identification capabiites.”

“What took you to the sensor business?”

“When I graduated from the Arizona State University with a degree in Marketing and Engineering, my elder brother introduced me to the company Inframetrics which was in the same Thermal Imaging camera business as FLIR. I subsequently joined my brother at the Company. Later, we purchased the Company under a Venture Capital-backed buyout when the Company had a turnover of about $13m. FLIR then purchased the business in 1999 at which time the business had revenues of approximately $58 million with 200 employees. I joined FLIR and subsequently was promoted to run the Commercial Systems division.”

On October 15, 2013 FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that the realignment of multiple production and engineering organizations and the streamlining of its global operations in order to better position FLIR® to develop, produce and market products more quickly and cost-effectively. The realignment includes closing up to six not-to-scale sites in the United States and Europe and a proposed transfer of those operations to larger FLIR facilities. FLIR also intends to consolidate its optics and laser manufacturing businesses to better realize the benefits of vertical integration in these areas.

Management expects savings from these actions to exceed $20 million per year when fully implemented. FLIR expects to record a pre-tax restructuring charge of approximately $27 million to $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 related to t

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