Top 100 Best Tech Companies In The World – P.35 - Celestica International Inc (Canada): One of the world's largest electronics manufacturing services companies


( Based in Toronto, Ontario, Celestica Inc. is a former IBM unit that has emerged as one of the world's largest electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies.

Serving such major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lucent, Motorola, NEC Corporation, and Sun Microsystems, Celestica manufactures computer motherboards, communications and networking cards, and other complex printed circuit assemblies used in personal computers, servers, workstation, peripherals, and communications devices. In addition, the company offers design services as well as supply chain management, global distribution, and post-sales repair services. Although 80 percent owned by Canada's Onex Corporation, Celestica is a public company, listed on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

Celestica's Toronto headquarters was originally the location of IBM's Toronto sales and support offices, which also supported a small manufacturing unit which built metal boxes for their mainframe computers and associated support systems. Eugene Polistuk, a graduate of the University of Toronto who joined IBM in 1969, took over management of the Toronto manufacturing division in 1986.

As IBM transitioned from a hardware company to a software and services company, the future of the manufacturing unit was in doubt despite its financial successes. In January 1994, Celestica was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM Canada. Polistuk immediately invoked changes in order to break out of what he saw as a moribund management structure left from the demerger. An early decision was to institute a 5% pay cut in exchange for a profit-sharing program that could reap up to 30% of base pay and another was to offer employee share options.

In October 1996, Onex bought the company by bidding $750 million for 69% of the company share.

This triggered rapid expansion at Celestica. In 1997 they bought UK-based Design to Distribution, the manufacturing division of International Computers Limited which itself was part-owned by Fujitsu. Later that year they purchased major portions of Hewlett-Packard's manufacturing lines, including their PC board plant in Fort Collins, their system assembly plant in New Hampshire, and their system design shop in Chelmsford, MA. In October they bought Ascent Power Technology, who had power supply manufacturers in Canada, the US and UK.

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