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EMSNOW Mourns Passing of EMS Industry Icon

It is with deep sadness that the staff at EMSNOW notes the death of longtime EMS industry executive, consultant, and visionary, Charlie Barnhart, who passed away in San Diego on July 21st.

Charlie grew up in Los Angeles during the turbulent 1960s and joined the Marines during the Vietnam war. He served as a pilot and navigator, and thus began a lifelong love of aviation and sailing. His interests were varied and included Hawaiian antiquities, history, as well electronics manufacturing.


Charlie Barnhart

Charlie earned a BSEE and MBA and began his career as an electrical engineer in Texas before co-founding an EMS company in Utah. After he sold that, he joined SCI as a senior executive, which subsequently was acquired by Sanmina. After the acquisition, he joined Technology Forecasters Inc as a senior consultant. From there he founded Charlie Barnhart & Associates where he developed some of the industry’s most effective analytical tools under the Outsourcing Navigator Series (ONS) banner. These tools enabled OEMs to gain a much better understanding of the total cost of their global outsourcing spend.

“Charlie was one of the true icons of this industry,” said EMSNOW Publisher Eric Miscoll. “He was wicked smart and I used to joke with him that he spent far too much time thinking about electronics outsourcing than could possibly be healthy. He was kind, generous, and deeply caring of his colleagues. I learned more from him about the EMS industry than from any other source, and things he predicted would happen 15 years ago continue to bubble up in electronics supply chain trends today,” he continued. “After a long and illustrious career in the EMS industry, I think he enjoyed pulling the curtains back on the industry and its practices to help other people better understand how it operated and how to best utilize it. Charlie was a mentor, a colleague, a gentleman, and a friend. He will be missed.”

“Speaking as a writer and editor, Charlie was a dream to work with,” added EMSNOW Editor Jennifer Read. “He was extremely creative and drew imagery and examples from all aspects of his comprehensive knowledge, including theology. (E.g. ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Outsourcing’). The world is a much less interesting place without him in it.”

Charlie is survived by his beloved wife Doreen and their three sons.



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