After a 15-year stint, Eddie Edwards has stepped down from his CEO and president positions at CommScope as Charles Treadway takes over the helm. In addition to being named president and CEO, Treadway now has a seat on CommScope's board of directors.
In its press release, CommScope said Edwards' departure was part of a planned succession program that was led by its board. CommScope also announced that Frank Drendel, who founded CommScope in 1976, has been named "Chairman Emeritus" of its board. Drendel had a long career as CEO and chairman of the board ever since the company was founded.
Edwards reportedly had a salary of $14 million last year, which was a 57% increase over his salary in 2018.
While Drendel will remain on CommScope's board under his new title, his seat on the board has been filled by Bud Watts, who most recently served as the independent director of CommScope's board. With Watts becoming a CommScope employee, the board elected Timothy Yates as its new independent director.
Prior to his new job at CommScope Treadway was most recently CEO of Accudyne Industries, which makes pumps and compressors for energy businesses and other industries. Eight years ago, BCEC IX acquired Accudyne Industries in equal partnership with The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is a minority owner in CommScope after CommScope's $7.4 billion deal to buy Arris closed last year.
Treadway also served as CEO and COO of Thomas & Betts, which is a designer and manufacturer of connectors and components for electrical and communication industries. Thomas & Betts was bought by ABB Installation Products in 2012.
CommScope, which has a broad portfolio of wired and wireless products and applications, has struggled a bit after the Arris acquisition despite good product diversity. Arris brought its customer premise equipment, which includes access devices such as broadband modems, gateways and routers as well as video set-top boxes, into CommScope's portfolio, but there has been a lot of moving parts to integrate.
Arris also had a network and cloud division that combined broadband and video infrastructure with cloud-based software solutions.
“CommScope is an underappreciated vendor in telecom," said Matt Walker, the founder and chief analyst of MTN Consulting. "It is a key supplier to fixed broadband network operators in the Americas and Europe, and also plays in the RAN and small cell networks with its outdoor wireless division. The Arris acquisition was an expensive one that’s taking time to digest, but in the long run CommScope should remain a key player in the telecom network infrastructure ecosystem.”
Former Arris CEO Bruce McClelland, who seemed to be a likely candidate to eventually replace Edwards, moved over to CommScope as its COO, but that position was axed last summer. In February, Ribbon Communications announced that McClelland, who piloted Arris through numerous acquisitions, was its new CEO.