Samsung leader departs
Samsung Techwin America’s EVP Frank De Fina announced May 28 that he is leaving Samsung for personal reasons.
"As of June 2, I will no longer be there. I made the decision on my own, the departure is amicable," he said. A replacement has yet to be named, though De Fina said there are "a couple of obvious potential choices. There is a very capable management team there."
De Fina joined Samsung in February 2010, and said he is proud of how far Samsung has come in the security industry since then. "Five years ago we didn't even appear on the IMS [Research, now part of IHS] list [of top IP camera providers]," he said. "This year our business grew over 75 percent." And he expects to "move up a couple of notches on the IHS list."
De Fina, who has "retired" twice before, said he is not even going to say he's retiring now. He is simply "taking a breather" and will likely return to the industry, perhaps in a consulting role.
Asked about the biggest challenges getting Samsung up to speed, he said "building the brand and credibility in the security space."
"I will take credit for organizing a great team," De Fina said. "But the credit for building the business goes to [that team]," he added.
"I'm leaving Samsung in much better shape [than when I arrived] and the team is spectacular," he said.
Before Samsung, De Fina was the long time president of Panasonic Systems. He retired from Panasonic Systems in 2008 to run Paul Reed Smith Guitars for two years before joining Samsung.
De Fina can play guitar in case you didn’t know. Here’s a video that my former colleague Sam took at the PSA-TEC jam a few years ago. Scroll down to the video; it features Paul Michael Nathan on harmonica, Frank De Fina on guitar, Daved Levine on bass, and Jerry Cordasco on drums.
The biggest opportunities in the security industry? De Fina said he did lots of research during a recent month-long tour of the Silicon Valley. "I spoke to big name companies [Google, Yahoo, others] and asked them what their [security] concerns are. "They look at us [the security industry] as a bit naive" in terms of cyber security. They also are concerned about the physical security of some critical infrastructure in this country such as data centers and cell towers, De Fina said.
De Fina identified the biggest challenge for integrators as shrinking margins. He recommends that integrators "pay attention to solving the problems that are not so easy to solve ... to reinvent themselves to mimic the growth opportunities I mentioned earlier."
De Fina is vice chairman of the Security Industry Association Board of Directors Executive Committee.
He was instrumental in the establishment of a security degree program that will be launched in 2015 at Mercer Country Community College.
He also holds positions in the International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA) and is a board member of the Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio) as well as a member of the board of the New York Friar’s Club Foundation.