After 23 years of telling others how to run a business, Keith Norby is about to begin putting his principles into practice. Norby recently resigned from the Big 8 accounting firm of Arthur Young & Co. to head up an investors' syndicate that is buying a seven-factory semiconductor supply division from Laguna Niguel-based Fluorocarbon Co.
As an accountant, auditor and management specialist in the high-technology field, Norby, 46, has been advising others how to run their businesses profitably for more than two decades.
Now he is about to take over as head of a semiconductor equipment manufacturing company with 250 employees and sales last year of $23 million.
The investors are paying approximately $12 million for the company, and, proving that accounting and management consulting can be as profitable for the practitioner as for the client, Norby is the largest investor in the group. He declined to say how many other investors there are, but agreed that accounting had be very good to him.
Norby began his career with Arthur Young upon his graduation in 1961 from UCLA, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in accounting. He started in the Los Angeles office, moved to the Orange County office in 1963, worked his way up through the firm's accounting and auditing ranks and became a partner in 1971.
In 1976 he left Orange County to become office managing partner for Arthur Young & Co. in Phoenix, Ariz., but he returned in 1980 to take over as managing partner of the firm's Orange County office--a post he held until he resigned earlier this year to pursue the deal with Fluorocarbon.
The sale of the Fluorocarbon semiconductor unit to Norby and his group, first announced Feb. 21, still is dependent on the hammering out of a definitive agreement and resolution of what Norby termed "other usual (deal) closing matters," a term presumably encompassing a firming up of the buyers' financing.
Upon completion of the deal, Norby will become chairman and chief executive of the still-unnamed company.