Bill Sims, president of Zenith Sales Corp., is leaving the consumer electronics manufacturer at the end of the month to become president/CEO of Live Manuals, a division of e-SIM, a Jerusalem-based electronic product simulations company with U.S. offices in Pasadena, Calif., and New York.
Among e-SIM board members are consumer electronics industry veterans John Roach, former chairman of Tandy, and John McDonald, who retired last year as Casio president.
At press time Zenith had not announced a replacement for Sims. Zenith's retail customers were to be notified by mail today of his departure.
In discussing Live Manuals, Sims said the service offers applications for many types of businesses, but "consumer electronics is an immediate fit, especially with my expertise in the business."
Sims, who joined Zenith two years ago from JVC and is a 22-year veteran of the industry, will be based in New York. He plans to sell the service to manufacturers, retailers and e-tailers enabling consumers "to learn how products operate before they buy them." The program allows users to rotate an image of the product, and learn how to program and operate devices, as well as troubleshoot if there are problems.
David Kirschner, e-SIM's COO, said the technology behind the service came out of the Israeli military. "It should eliminate the ubiquitous blinking 12:00 on VCRs," he said.
Retailers could use the service as a tool for floor salespeople, consumers could use it to supplement the printed manual enclosed with CE products, and e-tailers could use the Live Manuals service to assist in selling more intricate and higher-end products. With more product knowledge in the hands of consumers, Sims feels the program may help ease the problem of product returns.
Sims said Live Manuals recently launched with AOL a site with product demonstrations, called Live-Products. The service can be accessed through e-SIM's URL www.livemanuals.com.