EFI has announced the passing of its founder and first CEO, Efraim "Efi" Arazi, who died on his 76th birthday, Sunday, April 14. Arazi created his namesake company in 1988 after a 20-year career as the founder, president and CEO of the first Israeli high-tech firm, Scitex Corporation.
Arazi served as chairman, president and CEO of Electronics for Imaging (EFI) from 1988 until 1994, guiding the business from modest beginnings, with 18 employees in North Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA. Under his leadership and technical guidance, EFI launched Fiery, the printing industry's first color server, in 1991. According to the company, the product was "an immediate success," leading to significant OEM partner contracts with the world's leading color printer manufacturers. Arazi completed an initial public offering for EFI in 1992. In 1994, Fortune magazine named EFI the nation's fastest-growing public company.
"We are all deeply saddened by the passing of our founder and one of the most influential leaders in the history of our industry, and we send our sympathies and condolences to Efi's family," says Guy Gecht, the current CEO of EFI. "Though no longer with us, Efi's spirit of entrepreneurship, brilliant creativity and love of innovation will always remain at EFI."
Arazi is widely considered to be the father of Israel's high-tech industry for his role with Scitex. In the late 1960s, Arazi also worked with NASA while studying at MIT, developing the camera used to broadcast the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.
Today, the company says, Arazi's original EFI Fiery product line is the world's leading digital color workflow technology, with more than 20 million Fiery users worldwide. EFI has grown to more than $652 million in annual revenues and manufactures award-winning digital color printing workflow products, MIS and ERP systems and inkjet printing technologies.