Art O’Donnell, Partner
Art became a Partner in The CDI Group after a 22 year career in the manufacturing sector where he developed his operational skills from an engineering role to plant management responsibilities. In this timeframe, Art gathered expertise in lean manufacturing concepts, six sigma methodology as well as organic and inorganic business development techniques. He now utilizes this knowledge to assist small to mid-sized manufacturers achieve their goals through The CDI Group’s Corporate Development as well as Mergers & Acquisitions practice areas.
Art began his career in 1987 as a Failure Analysis Engineer for International Business Machines (IBM, Corp.) responsible for determining cause of product failures within the semiconductor manufacturing process. Over the next 9 years, he held various engineering roles at both the East Fishkill, NY and Burlington, VT locations expanding his breadth of knowledge in the semiconductor field.
In 1996, Art moved to Austin, TX becoming the lead Product Engineer for one of Motorola’s dynamic random access memory (DRAM) product lines where he began to develop skills in vendor and customer relationships and negotiations. Having a desire to be involved in developing a business from the ground up, Art moved his family to Richmond, VA in 1997 where Motorola and Siemens were forming a privately held startup company known as Whiteoak Semiconductor. At the request of the Senior Director of Technology at the time, Art took on his first leadership role in 1999 becoming the Section Manager of Test Engineering responsible for maintaining test hardware and developing test software for the site. This is the same year that he became a Siemens employee after Motorola decided to exit the DRAM industry. Being a German based company, Siemens afforded Art the opportunity to broaden his business acumen throughout his career on an international level in both Europe and Asia.
In 2000, Siemens decided to IPO it’s semiconductor division into a company known today as Infineon Technologies, AG and Art’s first opportunity to be involved in the launch of a new public company. The following year, Art was promoted to the Senior Director of Technology position responsible for the transfer, development and introduction into production of new products and technologies at the Richmond site. Art was selected in 2002 to participate in Infineon’s first Global Manager Development Program, which was developed and program was to teach participants how to manage business development and growth of a company. In conjunction with this training, participants were assigned projects targeted at utilizing the newly acquired knowledge to improve company profitability. Upon successful completion of both the training program and company project, Art received his Global Manager Development Certificate from Babson College.
Art was promoted to VP of Operations and Technology in 2004 responsible for process, equipment, manufacturing and technology operations at the site. During this timeframe, Infineon decided to invest into equipping a second factory on the Richmond site for which the existing leadership team would also be responsible. In order to meet the differing needs of a well established factory versus that of a new startup facility, Art and his team decided to establish an Office of Continuous Improvement with the goal of improving performance in the existing factory while ramping the second one. Through a combination of project management, best practice sharing and benchmarking activities with sister sites in Europe and Asia, Art’s team was successful in ramping the new facility on time and under budget while beating the company established productivity targets for the existing factory by 5%.
In 2006, Art was promoted to Site Manager responsible for all aspects of the Richmond manufacturing campus including support operations (facilities, human resources, IT, finance, quality, purchasing). In order enhance the productivity and thus profitability of the site, Art and his team implemented a Lean Six Sigma culture into the organization. By utilizing lean concepts from the Toyota approach accompanied by the Six Sigma DMAIC Process, the team was able to achieve a 20% cycle time reduction along with a 15% productivity enhancement for the site within an 18-month period. With the successful evolution of the organization into a Lean Six Sigma culture and Infineon’s decision to IPO it’s memory division into Qimonda, Art decided that it would be a good time to change focus as well. In 2007 with many international miles under his belt, Art decided to relinquish his position as Site Manager of the Richmond facility, so that he could spend more time at home. Art remained with Qimonda as the Director of Technology through 2008.
In 2009, Art became a Partner at Corporate Development International where he is involved in the day-to-day management of client engagements.
- B.S. in Electrical Engineering, The State University of New York at Buffalo
- Global Management Development Certificate, Babson College
- Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate, Virginia Commonwealth University (06/09
- Youth Baseball Coach, Atlee Little League
- Group Leader, YMCA Adventure Guide Program
- Formerly Engineering Advisory Board, VCU School of Engineering