New Supply Chain Execs Take Charge

Charter Communications, Exabyte look to incoming VPs to improve processes

Mesa, AZ — April 24, 2003 — This week saw new supply chain executive appointments at Charter Communications and Exabyte Corp., with both companies looking to their new vice presidents to improve their supply chain processes.

St. Louis-based Charter, the third-largest U.S. broadband communications company, named Shelbie Berry to be vice president of procurement and supply chain management. In her new position, Berry will have overall responsibility for sourcing, purchasing and the management of materials and services.

In making the announcement, Wayne Davis, senior vice president of engineering and technical operations at the company, said Charter would be looking to Berry to use her expertise to define the company's organization and purchasing functions to leverage its buying power, as well as the ability to implement electronic procurement and supply chain processes that will result in cost benefits for Charter and its suppliers.

"With her proven leadership in all areas of supply chain management, I'm confident Shelbie will ensure our teams in the field have the tools necessary to best serve our customers," Davis said.

Berry has more than 25 years of experience in materials and purchasing. Most recently, she has been a consultant after serving for more than six years as vice president materials and purchasing for Jones Intercable. While at Jones, she introduced and implemented one of the first purchasing and material/inventory online tracking processes in the industry, for which she received the company's "Imagination Quality" award.

Prior to joining Jones, Berry worked in purchasing and supply chain at cosmetics retailer Body Shop, pharmaceuticals company AKZO and oil and gas exploration firm CGG.

Elsewhere, Boulder, Colo.-based Exabyte, a provider of tape backup systems, has appointed Mike Stears to be its vice president of supply chain, with the charge to oversee a push for increased efficiencies in supply chain and product development.

A 22-year veteran of the storage industry, Stears will be responsible for spearheading cost reduction initiatives and improving time to market for Exabyte products, the company said in a statement.

As vice president of supply chain, Stears will oversee the re-engineering of Exabyte's model for working with suppliers and contract manufacturers to maximize productivity and cost efficiency. Stears will also run a review of internal operations, such as the product development process, to ensure that products have the features, performance, delivery schedule and pricing that meet the needs of Exabyte's customers.

Prior to joining Exabyte, Stears was a senior executive at Seagate, where he was responsible for key areas of Seagate's disk drive operations. Stears' most recent position at Seagate was senior vice president of Asia-Pacific disc drive operations in Singapore. In this position, Stears was responsible for implementation of the company's most important efficiency initiatives in the factory environment, including supply chain optimization, speeding time to market and Six Sigma. Stears also managed all internal manufacturing operations as well as external manufacturing facilities across the Asia- Pacific region.

Before that, Stears was senior vice president of mobile drive development at Seagate and was responsible for developing leading-edge technology products and qualifying them with major original equipment manufacturers. During his tenure at Seagate, Stears also served as senior vice president of product launches as well as launch general manager.

Stears started his career with product director and engineering positions at MiniScribe and StorageTek.

"Re-engineering our supply chain and product development processes is one of Exabyte's most important corporate goals, and Mike Stears is the perfect person to oversee those efforts," said Tom Ward, president and CEO at Exabyte. "Exabyte has already made significant progress in improving efficiency in these areas with our transition to an outsource model for manufacturing, but there is more work to be done. Mike has an outstanding track record of successes in establishing operational efficiencies in our industry, and he will play a key role in achieving similar successes at Exabyte."

"My team's efforts to improve product development and manufacturing processes will have a significant, positive impact on the company's bottom line," pledged Stears. "We will be looking closely at the way Exabyte works with its vendors, the way we manage the supply chain and the way we bring products to market to ensure that we are achieving maximum efficiency, productivity and profitability."