Roles in OEMs and SIs: Owner/Executive

A detailed explanation of the role of an Owner in an Original Equipment Manufacturer or System Integration company.

Hello again đź‘‹.

Welcome back to the Roles in OEMs and SIs series where I am giving you an introduction to the different job roles that exist in Original Equipment Manufacturer and System Integration companies.

In the previous parts of the series, I introduced you to the series and explained what roles we would be discussing.

In this part of the series, we will learn what the Owner or Executive does in an OEM or SI company.

Before we move on, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself to anyone who might be new to the blog.

My name is Ken Bourke and I have worked as an automation professional for almost a decade. During this time, I have worked on large global projects in different industries around the world.

In the last year, I have started producing content online to share my knowledge through free blog posts and free or very reasonably priced courses.

If you get some value out of this post then consider checking out my courses, joining the mailing list using the form at the bottom of this page, or, if you’re feeling very generous, buying me a coffee using the Buy Me a Coffee widget on this page.

With that bit of shameless self-promotion out of the way, let’s get back to talking about what the Owner or Executive does in an OEM or SI company.


Smaller OEM and SI companies are typically owned and managed by their original founders. This means that the owner of the company may be involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

As the company gets bigger and opens new sites, the owner may hire a local executive to manage each site. The local executive will act just like a business owner for his particular site.

Like all business owners, an OEM or SI owner is responsible for ensuring that the business remains profitable and, if the owner is interested in growth, is growing at an acceptable rate per year.

To secure the business’s profits, the owner will try to make sure that the costs associated with running the business remain under control and that the business is generating and protecting valuable intellectual property that customers will pay for.

In many cases, the owner is not involved in projects being executed or managing the staff.

Instead, he is overseeing the operations and closely monitors both the cash flow and profit and loss statements for the business.

Private Companies

An interesting thing to note is that most OEM and SI companies are privately held companies and remain privately held no matter how successful they become or big they grow.

For example, Tetra Laval Group, the part organization of Tetra Pak, with annual revenue of over 14 billion euros and nearly 34,000 employees are privately held!

This is important because the dynamic of a privately held company is very different from a publicly held company.

In a privately held company, the owner is the ultimate decision-maker since he does not have shareholders to answer to. This means that owners may choose not to grow their company beyond its current size, may choose to pay above market rates, or even wind down the company as they approach retirement.

Wrap Up

In this post, I introduced you to the Owner in an OEM or SI business as part of my Roles in OEMs and SIs series.

I explained what the Owner  does and what metrics are tracked by the Owner.

As I mentioned, the Owner may not be involved in the day-to-day decision-making or managing staff. This task is delegated to the Engineer Manager, who is a key person at any OEM or SI company.

In the next part of the series, I’ll introduce you to the Engineering Manager, who is responsible for managing the staff and making key decisions about technology and vendors for the business.


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