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Barry Takes Global Approach With Workforce Relations

By JEFF WEISS Contributing Reporter HR Technical Expertise Ken Barry Semtech, Camarillo A 30-year veteran of the human resources industry, Ken Barry’s resume was already impressive prior to joining Camarillo-based Semtech in 2006. Indeed, the VP of Corporate Human Resources for the 840-employee, semiconductor powerhouse was honored on the cover of HR Executive Magazine in 2000, voted HR Account Executive of the Year in 2006 for The National Human Resources Association, Ventura County; and was named Executive of the Year for PIHRA, Southern California in 1993. But some of Barry’s most notable achievements have occurred at the $300 million-a-year grossing Semtech where he’s implemented a management development program for North American sales something that has helped spur a 15 percent growth in that department. Along the way, Barry has helped revamp the performance and talent assessment process at the firm, altering the company’s rewards systems and radically improving the way it deals with global employees. “You have to make sure that you spend a lot of time with executives responsible for different international areas,” Barry said. “I have HR managers in England and Switzerland, and I’m also now traveling to places where we don’t necessarily have HR resources, and I meet with operating managers. Last year, I went to the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan. This year, I’ll be going to China.” At Semtech, Barry has been faced with substantial obstacles, but the venerable human resources manager has passed them with flying colors ,including an SEC stock options investigation, which found him working closely with the Semtech board and outside counsel. In the investigation’s aftermath, he created processes and systems to ensure that the previous mistakes wouldn’t be implemented again. Perhaps most importantly, those close to Barry speak with effusive praise about his character and abilities. “[Barry] is a consummate professional, a man of pious integrity and professionalism in the HR field,” Cris Hagen, a senior director at Los Angeles-based consulting firm, Plus Delta Consulting LLC, said. “He not only knows the nuts and bolts of HR, the transactional nature of recruiting and benefits and compensation design, but he makes it a point to understand that his company and employees are partners. He successfully balances a perspective between needs of the business and the needs of the employees.”

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