TMEIC Corp. in Roanoke County announced Thursday a new CEO and a consolidation of its North America operations.
TMEIC Corp. designs and develops advanced automation systems, motors, photovoltaic inverters and variable frequency drives for industrial applications.
The Roanoke Valley operation is merging with a manufacturing facility in Katy, Texas, the TMEIC Power Electronics Products Corp. The new company will be known as TMEIC Corporation Americas.
When the Texas operation was started in 2014, it was wholly owned by TMEIC’s Japanese parent company. But it was always intended to be brought under Roanoke County’s purview, said Michael Cooper, marketing vice president.
TMEIC here in the valley, which he described as essentially an engineering business, has worked closely with its manufacturing counterpart in Texas.
“Since it’s been operating, there has been close coordination and a lot of the backroom work has been done by our finance team, our sourcing team, our project coordination team. We do almost all the import/export on their behalf,” Cooper said.
In the short term, the impact on operations in the Roanoke region will be minimal. But he said the Texas manufacturing facility is expected to expand into new product lines in the future, which over time will create additional work for the staff and engineers at the Electric Road facility.
The merger will cause changes in the chain of command, Cooper said, with departments in Katy now reporting to the Roanoke Valley.
“There’s going to be more direct management and involvement from people here in Roanoke as opposed to Katy basically having just been an island in and of itself reporting back to Japan,” he said.
TMEIC Corporation Americas currently employs between 350 and 400 in Virginia and between 100 and 125 in Texas, Cooper said. The merger is not expected to immediately create jobs.
The most significant and immediate change to the Roanoke Valley operation is not the merger, Cooper said, but the leadership change. Manmeet Bhatia has been named the new president and CEO of TMEIC Corporation Americas.
Bhatia has been with the company since its formation in 2003. Most recently he served as chief operating office. Bhatia replaces Dale Guidry, who has led the company since 2007. He will remain with the company, serving as an executive advisor to senior staff.
Cooper said Guidry has been talking about retiring for a while. Though he’ll now be working in an advisory capacity with no employees reporting to him, Cooper said Guidry will continue to “have a very significant voice.”
“It’s an opportunity for a proper transition,” Cooper said.