Westell has named Matthew Brady as the company’s new president and CEO, replacing interim President and CEO Kirk Brannock after what has been a challenging transition period for the telecom vendor.
Brannock, who assumed the interim position following the departure of Thomas Gruenwald in September 2016, had planned to depart once a CEO transition plan was complete.
Brady is a 25-year telecom veteran who comes to the CEO role with experience in enhancing customer relationships, driving revenue growth and improving operations and bottom-line results.
Before coming to Westell, Brady served as SVP of Federal Signal’s Safety and Security Systems Group. Prior to leading the $240 million Safety and Security Systems Group, Brady was its vice president of Global Sales. Earlier, he was sales director for Public Safety at Motorola Solutions. Previously, Brady held executive sales and marketing positions at Clarity Communications Systems, Tellabs and Motorola.
“The Company has recently undergone a critical period of transition, and I believe Westell is well positioned for long-term sustained growth and profitability,” Brady said in a release. “I look forward to building on the Company’s long-established reputation for delivering high-quality products and solutions, including the growing in-building wireless public safety communication market, as well as other fast-developing communication network applications.”
During his tenure as interim CEO, Brannock has seen Westell complete an extensive cost and expense reduction program that is delivering improved profitability, growing cash and nourishing a strong debt-free balance sheet. At the same time, he positioned the company to address the emerging market for in-building wireless public safety communication.
Getting to this point has been anything but easy for Westell.
It was less than a year ago that Westell announced it would lay off employees at two of its key facilities and abandon the development of its ClearLink distributed antenna system (DAS). By developing the ClearLink DAS platform, Westell hoped to gain an additional million dollar source of DAS revenues by the end of 2016. The layoffs and cutting the ClearLink product were designed to enable the company to cut $11 million in annual expenses.
Westell told shareholders in a recent letter that its restructuring plan had been successful.
“During fiscal year 2017, which ended March 31, 2017, we completed our plan to reset the Company's cost and expense structure, leading to significant changes in how we operate the business,” Westell said. “Today, Westell benefits from a major reduction in operating expense and a more effective organizational structure. Over the past six months we have turned a corner by delivering improved profitability, growing cash, and maintaining a strong, debt-free balance sheet.”
Despite its struggles with DAS revenues, Westell has also continued to find revenue fortunes in its Communications Solutions Group (CSG) segment. The company continues to see increases in integrated cabinet sales to telcos that are participating in the FCC's CAF II program to extend broadband to rural areas.
Westell has also continued to introduce new products addressing the public safety segment, where its products are gaining traction in the marketplace, with plans to release new products later this year.
In particular, Westell said that it is “confident that our years of in-building wireless experience have equipped us well to serve the public safety market.”