By Nitin Dahad and Barb Jorgensen, EETimes (May 6, 2020)
Imagination Technologies’ now-defunct plan to add four Chinese investors to its executive board has touched a raw nerve in the UK and triggered a series of events leading to a full-blown government inquiry. In a three-hour hearing before the UK parliament’s foreign affairs committee, three Imagination CEOs, past and present, were grilled in a public battle to preserve the IP developer’s legacy.
The public debate centered around the suitability of Imagination owner Canyon Bridge Partners’ attempt a few weeks ago to add new Chinese directors to the board, and the government’s role — if any — in protecting home-grown intellectual property (IP).
Tech industry executives watched the live online event as factions within Imagination’s past and present senior leadership defended their business strategies. Imagination’s revenue has steadily declined since 2017, and its recovery path has pitted former CEO Hossein Yassaie, Black and Rayfield against interim CEO Ray Bingham, who favored the involvement of Chinese backers.