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Griffin Technology founder again CEO as exec returns to campus
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David Owens
Griffin Technologies Founder Paul Griffin is once again CEO, as well as president, following David Owens' return to his former faculty position at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Owens held the CEO post about a year, after the founder relinquished the title for the first time in the company's history.

Owens told VNC this morning he is still unpacking after what turned-out to be a leave of absence from the Airline Drive-based accessory maker, the company that bills itself "the creator of all things iPod and iPhone."

Griffin Technology spokesperson Jackie Ballenger confirmed the CEO changes outlined here, just after noon.

Griffin's product line ranges from device chargers and transmitters, to the recently introduced Lucky 7 slot-machine game.

Owens, 45, said he continues as an advisor to the company. He explained that in the course of his year aboard Griffin, he and the company's namesake realized that Owens would rather return to academe and consulting than drill more deeply into operational issues, which were looming larger amid industry consolidation and economic changes.

Owens said he is eager to reimmerse himself in Owen GSM initiatives, including one or more new entrepreneur-education initiatives. He has been associated with Owen more than a decade, having taken a clinical professorship following several years on the tenure track. His name is often associated with creative projects, and he is regarded as a close associate of Vanderbilt Chancellor Nick Zeppos.

Reflecting on the Griffin stint, Owens said he came to believe that, given his own "brain wiring," he would find it difficult to "construct a whole life" in such a fast-moving business with "a lot of moving parts," resulting in heavy emphases on operations management, finance, supply chain and other fundamentals.

Among lessons learned during his tour at Griffin, Owens offered as an example his deeper understanding of the role of "The Buyer" in companies served by Griffin, as well as

Owens explained during a February interview that during his first 90 days at Griffin he had worked to nurture the company's established creative culture, while introducing organization and communications changes to enable the company to operate on larger scale.

Prior to joining the company, Owens worked as a Griffin researcher and a consultant to Griffin, which Paul Griffin founded in 1992. The company is believed to have about 150 employees, most of whom work in Nashville. ♦

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Tags: Apple, corporate culture, David Owens, Griffin Technology, innovation, iPod, management, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University

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