CommScope announced that veteran global technology executive Charles “Chuck” Treadway will step in as its new CEO, replacing Eddie Edwards, who had held the role the past 15 years.
Treadway, a Harvard MBA also named to the CommScope board of directors, most recently served as chief executive for Accudyne Industries, a maker of airflow systems for industrial compressors. Accudyne is backed by The Carlyle Group, which also invests in CommScope.
In fact, Treadway has worked for several Carlyle-backed companies. And in a note to investors sent Thursday, Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold suggested it's this Carlyle connection that's at the heart of CommScope's CEO swap.
Carlyle took CommScope public in 2013 and still owns 15.5% of the company. As part of that IPO, Carlyle--which still owns 15.5% of CommScope--agreed to a "standstill" until April 2022, at which time it can re-acquire CommScope and take it private again.
"We suspect Carlyle has left fingerprints," wrote Leopold, who also noted CommScope Chairman Bud Watts' role as a Carlyle consultant.
For his part, Watts said it's Treadway's experience navigating economic regions like China amid a precarious global tech market that's at the heart of the exec swap.
“Chuck is a tested and proven leader who brings extensive global business experience and strong strategic, operational, and go-to-market acumen to CommScope,” Watts said in a statement. “This is a critical time in the company’s history. Never has the need for advanced, reliable network infrastructure been more vital to consumers and businesses, nor offered CommScope greater potential opportunities for growth. Chuck has a growth mindset and an impressive record of generating above-market revenue performance and market share gains. We believe Chuck is uniquely qualified to lead CommScope in fulfilling its full strategic potential."
Edwards departs as CommScope continues to traverse the uncertain global economic waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is CommScope seeking a foothold in fast-emerging technologies like 5G and CBRS, it is still digesting its $7.4 billion acquisition of Arris, it's battling to maintain its entrenched position in pay TV set-tops amid rapid evolution of the video business
“It has been my great privilege to serve as CommScope’s CEO and to work with such an incredibly talented team to advance our mission of serving customers in developing the most advanced networks in the world," Edwards said in a statement. "As a team, we have transformed the company from a structured cable and connectivity business to an industry-leading provider in virtually all aspects of telecommunications and broadband networks. I expect the Company will continue to advance under Chuck’s leadership, and I look forward to the Company’s future successes.”
Added Treadway: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of reliable network connectivity, and the need for products and services that will continue to push the boundaries of reliability, efficiency and collaboration for customers around the world. I look forward to working alongside the entire CommScope team to drive growth, operational excellence, and value for all our stakeholders.”
CommScope also announced that company founder Frank Drendel "in recognition of his unique status and distinguished service" has been named Chairman Emeritus. Drendel founded CommScope in 1976 and has served continuously as its CEO and/or chairman since.
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