Arris Opens a New Chapter, Tapping McClelland as CEO

When Arris went searching for a CEO to succeed long-time leader Bob Stanzione, it didn’t have to look very far.

That quest led the Arris board to pick Bruce McClelland, an executive who has been with the company since 1999.

McClelland, who has been serving as president of network and cloud and global services at Arris, will assume the CEO role on Thursday, Sept. 1. Stanzione, the founding president and CEO of Arris Interactive (it formed in 1995 as an Antec-Nortel Networks joint venture; Antec bought out Nortel’s stake in 2000 and kept the Arris brand), won’t be going far. He’ll remain chairman of the board and also become executive chairman.

Arris, with Stanzione at the helm, has transformed from a key cable technology supplier to a global powerhouse spanning multiple industries (not to mention the world’s largest maker of set-tops) via the $2.35 billion acquisition of Motorola Home in 2013, and a $2.1 billion merger with U.K.- based Pace plc that closed in January 2016.

McClelland told Multichannel News it’s been a “humbling experience” to get the CEO appointment and to be tasked with pushing the vision of the company forward.

Though Stanzione has been leading Arris, McClelland has also had a big hand in influencing strategy and direction. He said his move to the CEO chair will provide continuity with Arris’s plans while also giving customers, employees and, ultimately, shareholders comfort in knowing that there is “no big right-angle” turn coming.

Some analysts following the company seem to agree that McClelland won’t shift or disrupt the company’s strategy.

Raymond James, for example, maintained its “strong buy” rating on Arris shares following the company’s announcement on Aug. 23.

“If asked who we would have envisioned as Bob’s successor, Bruce McClelland would have been our first guess,” Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold said in a research note that observed McClelland has been a regular participant in Arris’s quarterly earnings calls and at certain investor events.

McClelland said broadband expansion and the drive to Gigabit speeds will remain a big priority for Arris, whether a service provider uses twisted pair, fiber or hybrid fiber/ coax networks. “That’s the foundation of what’s driving our business these days,” McClelland said. “I feel like we’re fairly well-positioned. Shame on us if we don’t execute well and get our own fair share of that over the next several years.”