RAY FRIANT BIOGRAPHY
Throughout his management career, which began in 1960, Ray Friant has engaged in crisis management, first as part of General Electric, and eventually as an independent turnaround expert. He has a passion for revitalizing seriously disadvantaged companies, and also for teaching management teams the skills that translate into success.
Friant is an expert in the management of commercial businesses. He specialized in high-technology, growth companies with up to a billion dollars in revenue. Business areas include semiconductor manufacturing equipment; commercial and military electronics; road construction machinery; and precision optics.
Since early 1980, Ray has focused on corporate turnarounds. As chief operating officer,he made major improvements in four seriously disadvantaged companies. In two worldwide NYSE/NASDAQ-listed high-tech companies, Friant was instrumental in their avoiding bankruptcy, and in their achieving stock appreciation of more than ten times.
Friant was Group Vice President and General Manager of Gulf and Western’s ten company Industrial Products Group. IPG had 4,000 employees engaged in electronic systems, electronic connectors, electronic components, electro-mechanical components, wire and cable, cutting tools, and hardware. He directed major asset redeployment in five companies, and in three companies changed over 30 percent of the product lines in three years. ROI improved from 14 to 25 percent as a result of increased sales, higher gross profit, greater working capital turns, aggressive new product introduction, and strict cost control. The group included units in North America, Europe and Asia.
For five years, he was an internal consultant for ITT for organization structure, management systems, and operations. Results included reorganizing a dozen companies including a lighting fixtures business, an automotive parts business, a community development company, and a chemical cellulose manufacturer. He has also held executive positions with General Electric Company and Western Union.
Friant holds a BSEE and a BSME from West Virginia University. He graduated from General Electric Company’s three-year graduate-level Advanced Engineering Program and took courses at General Electric’s Management School. He is married with three grown children and four grandchildren, and divides his time between homes in Convent Station, New Jersey and Landgrove, Vermont.