In a press release published just minutes ago, Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (hereby referred to as Pentax USA) has announced that Ned Bunnell, who has served as the president of the company for over 7 years, will be stepping down and retiring at the end of this month.
Mr. Noboru Akahane, president of Pentax Ricoh Imaging in Japan (hereby referred to as Pentax Japan), will be assuming the role of president of Pentax USA as of October 1st, 2012. In addition, Mr. James Malcolm will been appointed executive vice president of Pentax USA, and he will report directly to Mr. Akahane while taking on many of Bunnell's responsibilities.
We think that this sudden change in the corporate structure of Pentax USA means that Pentax Japan, now under Ricoh's leadership for about 1 year, is getting ready to start implementing Ricoh's overall plans for the company. This is supported by the following statement from the press release:
"Most recently Mr. Malcolm has been working with Ricoh Company, Ltd. in Japan on the post-acquisition integration of PENTAX on a global basis. His insight and experience have set the direction and provided the vision needed to initiate management changes, including compliance with merger strategies."
While we have not heard any official news of Pentax products resulting directly from Ricoh's involvement with the company, it has been rumored that Ricoh is working behind-the-scenes to make Pentax a very competitive brand even in the pro DSLR market, while asking Pentax employees to execute the remainder of Hoya's old product roadmap in the meantime. We believe this quote foreshadows that the future holds what thousands of Pentax fans have been awaiting for years:
"There [is] a core group of PENTAX and RICOH fans here and we are confident to deliver high-quality products that will not only satisfy our current customers but also attract new customers through innovation and support of Ricoh’s global brand."
To our current members: please help us to extend a warm "thank you" to Ned for his service to Pentax USA over the course of the Pentax digital era. We would like to wish him all the best!
Secondly, to those who have been disappointed by Pentax's recent announcement: let's give Ricoh a chance to execute their merger strategy and hopefully make a big comeback in the near future!