I mainly wanted to call your attention to Adept Technologies, Inc. (ADEP), which has been on a tear since early Sept. (52 week: $2.90 to $21.90; today at $13.46). I’ve been in since last March @$3.30/share. There may be decent opportunity for a significant return, once this churning of the tech sector settles down.

Here are some links to some discussion - well more like a monologue, actually:

Hi Tomagi, I briefly had a very small position in ADEP, buying it at $16.50, and selling at $15.50 two weeks later, both in Jan of this year. I sold because after further reflection, they looked as if they were up on hopes for robotics, but that this was off in the distance, and for now they would continue to have losses. Is there anything new?



Too bad you didn’t hold on a couple of months. The stock was near $22 a couple of weeks ago. You are right, though, the stock is up largely with the recent interest in robotics generated by purchases made by Google and Amazon. But, I think that there is more to it. They recently posted a minor earnings beat swinging to a $0.01 EPS (woohoo!) and hinted at more. They’ve been clearly marching in the right direction for at least the past 3 quarters. Also, I’ve been impressed at how well the stock has held ground up until the past week. There still seems to be a lot of interest.

Also, a new CEO in the 1st quarter. They are more focused on margin improvement and service expansion, than rapid growth. I think they are dressing up business for an acquisition.

Because I got in a little more than a year ago, this could be a 10-bagger for me, but more likely a 2-bagger from this point. However, I think that there may be some danger of the market losing interest while waiting on a buyer.

You may also be right that their market expansion is still years in the making. What I like in that regard is that they have customers in semiconductor, food processing, warehousing and airline industries and service/consulting subscriptions augment their material sales.

Also, a new CEO in the 1st quarter.

My apologies, as this statement was made partially in error. Rob Cain was brought in during Q1, 2013. A new VP of Glogal Operations recently entered the picture. Here is a post that I made this morning on the Rule Breakers board addressing turnover of executive management.

Is new management part of a sea change for ADEP?

Within the last 15 months there has been significant executive turnover at Adept Technologies:

  1. Rob Cain in as President (Feb. 2013) and CEO; John Dulchinos out (also off the Board)

2)Seth Halio in as CFO (Oct. 3, 2013) replacing Michael Schradle who resigned in July.

  1. John Villadsen in as Vice President of Global Operations (Apr. 2014)

During earnings calls, Cain continues to stress value, margin improvement, sales/msrket/service synergy development and focus on the bottom line.

Of Villadsen, Cain says, "“John Villadsen comes to Adept with more than 20 years of experience managing companies’ operations, establishing global supply chains, and implementing lean practices worldwide,” said Rob Cain, Adept president and CEO. “He is a hands-on leader focused on profitability and scalability. We welcome him to the Adept team and look forward to benefitting from his contributions and insight.”…

Looking at employee comments at (…), these moves seem to address some of the most critical ones, such as:

“Excellent Product Development but Need Better Alignment of Marketing and Sales Strategy”

Advice to Senior Management – To have stronger Strategic Marketing and Business Development teams to effectively drive corporate goals and align them better with sales strategy in order to grow.

“Problematic Leadership with Select Good People Keeping Company Afloat”

Cons – There was no succession plans. They tend to hire outside the company vs. promote within. Always cash starved. It felt that we would live and die by the latest sale. The management seemed very dysfunctional since 2008.

Advice to Senior Management – Management has since changed, so hopefully they are working on retaining their good talent.

“Being an employee was like being in a toxic, dependent relationship that’s going nowhere.”

Advice to Senior Management – Since 2008, the management team has been horrible. I dont know how any of their good employees stay there. Again - a toxic relationship.

“Its a retirement home”

pros – Adept is in field of Robotics and is well respected in the Robotics Community

Cons – Things move very slowly. Lack of accountability and leadership.

“Good place to work”

Advice to Senior Management – need to grow much and improve a lot. needs good number of managing team and also the marketing team for it.

Wow! The employees sure didn’t think much of management. Can you flag which of those remarks referred to the old management, and which are recent?



Wow! The employees sure didn’t think much of management. Can you flag which of those remarks referred to the old management, and which are recent?

Unfortunately, it is a very small set of data: 6 reviews: 4 former and 2 current employees. However, no current employees posting during the past 15 months. So, really no data concerning the new management.

Here’s what I know from having been involved in leading an organizational/operational/cultural turn-around. It takes about 2 years to begin to see results, if management is actually addressing issues and implementing measures. A lot of resentment of old management carries over to new management - this fades as evidence of a new direction becomes apparent.

I really see significance in the emphasis around creating a “lean” operation. This could be merely a buzz word associated with executive lip-service. However, when properly implemented, it means reliance on key performance indicators driving a goal-oriented work culture. Throw in policies that properly balance the application of the carrot and the stick and you create a robust entrepreneurship.

I’ve seen plenty of comments from CEO Rob Cain that suggests philosophy and action to correct deficiencies associated with the company’s past performance. Also, the last 3-4 earnings calls have indicated that performance is following on. Most of the improvement seems linked to gross margin improvement efforts, while they rebalance sale/marketing/service efforts. It’s hard to make improvements to gross margins in the absence of cultural change.