Entropic Names Interim CEO, New Product Plan

Entropic Communications, a maker of silicon for set-tops and high-speed coax-based networking, announced Monday (November 10) that president and CEO Patrick Henry is leaving the company and stepping down from the company’s board of directors, and that Dr. Ted Tewskbury (pictured) has been appointed Entropic’s interim president and CEO.

Entropic also announced a new product strategy that will involve a refocusing on its core “connectivity” business, which includes Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) technology, and a halt on all new set-top box systems-on-chip product development (see further below for more detail).

Henry’s departure comes about two months after the chipmaker announced a major restructuring that included authorization for the board to pursue “strategic options.” It also comes almost five months after a Utah court found Henry guilty of assaultingBeverly Hills Nanniesstart Ariane Bellamar, but reduced the charge from a misdemeanor to an infraction, while also dropping two other charges -- interruption of a communication device, and criminal mischief.

Henry, Entropic’s president and CEO since 2003, has led the company through an initial public offering and a string of acquisitions, including its $65 million purchase of Trident Semiconductor in 2012. That deal helped Entropic, once a company that specialized in MoCA technology, into a more diverse supplier of set-top silicon that included a focus on products based on the Reference Design Kit, a pre-integrated set-top software stack that’s now being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Patrick for his many contributions to Entropic over the past decade," said Umesh Padval, Entropic's chairman of the Board, in a statement. "Under Patrick's leadership, the Company completed its initial public offering and developed a number of market leading technologies. With the change in strategy and business restructuring that Entropic is also announcing today, the Board believes it is the right time for a leadership transition. We are fortunate to have Ted available to serve as interim President and CEO. Ted has successfully led and developed executive management teams and possesses a proven track record as a semiconductor industry executive. We are confident that he will provide strong leadership for the Company."

Tewksbury, the former president and CEO of Integrated Device Technology, joined the Entropic board in September of 2010. 

As interim President and CEO, Dr. Tewksbury will work closely with Entropic's executive team and Board of Directors to oversee the Company's ongoing operations and strategic initiatives, including the ongoing review of strategic alternatives, the company said. Tewksbury will stay on the Entropic board, but will no longer serve on its compensation committee.

"I look forward to working alongside Entropic's talented team and contributing to the Company's future success," Tewksbury said in a statement. "With our refocused strategy and restructuring plan, we are targeting to reach non-GAAP profitability next quarter. We are continuing to explore strategic alternatives, and remain focused on product innovation, operational excellence, and enhancing shareholder value."

On Monday, Entropic also posted third quarter results – a net loss of $27.6 million (31 cents per share) on revenues of $43.2 million, down from $56.4 million in the year-ago period.

Entropic also shed more light on its product plan, announcing that it will refocus on its core Connectivity businesses, which include MoCA, direct broadcast satellite outdoor unit (DBS ODU) and broadband access. Entropic said it will continue to pursue design wins for all set-top box system-on-a-chip (SoC) products in production or already commercialized and will continue to invest to support those programs, but the company will discontinue all new set-top box SoC product development. 

The company’s set-top box SoC business “will contribute meaningful revenue for the next three years or more” based on design wins currently in the pipeline and on products already brought to market, Entropic said.