Executive Q&A: Guy Gecht, CEO, EFI

Guy Gecht is chief executive officer of EFI (Electronics for Imaging). His key initiatives include increasing EFI’s market penetration, diversifying the company’s product offerings, and introducing new services that will drive demand for digital printing worldwide. Since joining the company in 1995, Gecht has risen through the ranks at EFI, serving in a variety of management and engineering roles. He was interviewed by QP editor Karen Hall. For more information about EFI, visit www.MyPRINTResource.com/10005156.


QP: What areas of growth do you see for the graphic communications industry?

Gecht: Great question, because I think people tend to think of our industry as being in decline, but in fact there are several areas with great potential.

We’re hearing from our customers that businesses are growing in two ways. The first is by expanding into areas where the printed job has a lot more value, such as on-demand digital production and industrial printing—like out-of-home advertising, decoration, labels, packaging, etc. The second way that businesses are growing is by becoming more efficient and, with that, more competitive. Business automation software such as MIS, Web-to-print, schedulers, and workflow tools are helping businesses grow by adding efficiency and cutting the cost of production. And, of course, we have customers that are doing both.

QP: At this year’s EFI Connect event, you interviewed Benny Landa. What effect do you think Nanography will have on the industry?

Gecht: Yes, what a fun conversation that was! Although I think I’ll think twice about asking him about his hobbies next time. Benny and his team have had an impressive breakthrough and are working on some promising technology. And obviously, our industry can benefit from more investment in technology. Of course, until we see it in the market it will be hard to tell the real impact of the technology.

QP: What other developments—in technology or in the marketplace—do you think will be most significant to print providers?

Gecht: Again, it’s about becoming more efficient and offering new applications, so the evolution of products in those spaces will be interesting to watch.

We are trying to advance that by innovating with more advanced digital inkjet printers that put great images on more and more types of materials, our Fiery digital front ends that enable the full potential of digital printing, and software such as Web-to-print and cross-media marketing tools that let our customers be more efficient and offer even more to their customers.

QP: With such a widely varied product portfolio, how do you keep EFI on target to meet its goals?

Gecht: First, there is a great passion at EFI around the mission of helping many businesses in our industry. Most businesses are family-owned and small to mid-sized that need companies like EFI to invest heavily in innovation.

To complement our passion, we are very data-driven when it comes to focusing on our one, three, and five year goals. The leadership team receives 14 reports every morning from across our businesses that detail everything from how much ink our customers are buying to how many jobs are being processed by our software, and with that we know how we are tracking to those goals.

QP: With new headquarters planned and three consecutive years of double-digit growth, what is next for EFI?

Gecht: It’s certainly an exciting time for us. We’re happy that our business continues to evolve, and the new HQ in the Silicon Valley is going to be a reflection of that—truly a modern innovation center where our employees can collaborate to bring more great technology to the market.

We have some great innovations hitting the market in 2013 across all of our product lines, and we are always looking into potential acquisitions to expand our products or geographic coverage so we can bring more technology to more customers. Our top priority is to continue to enable the success of our customers, so we have tons of work to do this year to continue to earn their trust.