Well, sort of. In the wonderful weirdness of the automation business, my path and Ken’s had never crossed before tonight. I am pleased that I finally got to meet him. One on one, he is as good as his speech this morning made me think he is. We talked about a lot of things, but I can say this, and I said it to him…Invensys didn’t miss a beat when Mike Caliel left, which is a tribute to both Caliel and to Ken Brown.
Ken is still “interim” or “acting” president of Invensys Process Systems. I cannot imagine anyone inside or outside the company who is better qualified to be confirmed as president of the company than Brown. He has the credentials, the track record, and he’s been doing the damn job very, very well for six months already.
By an accident of seating, I sat between Bob Jones and Don Clark. I’ve known both men for some time, Jones especially, since Spitzer and Boyes LLC consulted to Yamatake and Microsensor when Bob was one of the owners of that ill-fated “Honeywell boys’ club” venture. It was nice to swap lies (I mean stories that must obviously be true, yah?) with Bob and Don. We have much the same history in common, even though I never worked for Honeywell. We called on the same folks, worked in the same plants, and even know many of the same people. It made for an interesting evening.
And I absolutely have to get one of the shirts that Bob’s stepson sells in his Tennessee whitewater rafting company: “Paddle faster, I can hear banjos!”