Ten years ago, Putman Media's CEO told me he was handing me his shining jewel and asked me to please not screw it up. Not only did we not screw it up, we've done very well over the past decade. We have grown our editorial coverage above the plant floor. We have planned and executed a highly successful digital content strategy with ControlGlobal.com that changed us from a magazine with a replica website to a lively and content-heavy, print-and-digital publication vehicle that, as I wrote in Control's mission statement in 2004, "seeks to provide high-value content to our readers by whatever means they wish to receive it."
Our Top 50 list, which is the cover story for this edition, our Readers' Choice Awards, our Process Automation Hall of Fame and other signature features, along with deep analysis and inspired reporting have made Control and ControlGlobal.com much more than just another magazine. We have become a singular authority in process automation.
Over the past 10 years, we have won many awards for our editorial and our art direction. I am proud of what I and my team have done with Control and ControlGlobal.com.
But as with all things, there comes a time for a change. By the time you read this, I will no longer be editor in chief of Control and ControlGlobal.com. Publisher Keith Larson and I have agreed that it is a good time for me to part company with Putman Media, and I am returning to Spitzer and Boyes LLC, the consulting company I have with David W. Spitzer, on a full-time basis. I will continue to be an industry analyst and consultant, as I was before coming to Control.
My successor is none other than Paul Studebaker, who, ironically, I replaced as editor in chief in 2003, when he was assigned to Plant Services, and then Sustainable Plant, both sister publications of Control. Paul served on Control for 10 years prior to my tenure, and he is, without a doubt, the best possible choice to follow me in this post and on this page.
Paul says he looks forward to bringing some of his asset management and sustainability perspectives to our coverage. "As editor of Plant Services, I was amazed at how the automation profession could remain narrowly focused on only monitoring the control assets," he says. Now more companies are realizing the power of control systems for improving reliability and lowering the lifecycle costs of critical assets throughout a facility.
Sustainability is still in the early stages of a similar evolution. "As companies learn more about how process control and optimization can cut energy and water consumption, improve yields and reduce waste, sustainability managers will be knocking down our doors to fund automation projects," Paul adds.
I wish Paul all the best in his new role. I'm sure the Control team will continue to stretch out, go beyond boundaries and break new ground in covering the process automation industry and the vendors who serve it.
Many things have happened on my watch. The industry is very different now in many ways than it was just 10 years ago. Control, however, has been around for 25 years. We have planned a series of 25-year retrospective articles for 2014, and I know that you will enjoy and appreciate our perspectives throughout that series.
Thank you to my staff and my readers, who made it possible for me to do the things I've done for the past 10 years. "No man is an island," John Donne said, and no magazine is made by a single person.
We have had a good run, and while I'm moving on from Control, I'll remain active and present in the world of process automation. So we'll just have to say, "Be seein' ya!"