Pace Pulls Pulli Into CEO Slot

U.K. set-top maker Pace announced that Mike Pulli, currently president of its Americas division, has been appointed CEO and named to the board with current chief Neil Gaydon stepping down after 16 years with the company.

Gaydon decided to step down "to take some time off and look for a fresh challenge," Pace said.

This year Pace has issued profit warnings three times, citing in part flooding in Thailand for disrupting suppliers. The company last month said it expects full-year sales of $2.3 billion and operating profit of $141 million -- missing its already-lowered guidance.

"Mike has developed a hugely successful business for Pace in the Americas, and his background and gravitas in the industry make him the right leader to succeed Neil and deliver our strategic plan," Pace chairman Allan Leighton said in a statement. "We would like to thank Neil for his significant contribution to Pace over a 16-year period, the last five as CEO, and wish him and his family well for the future."

Pulli joined Pace in 2004, serving as president of Pace Americas, overseeing the company's business in the U.S., Canada and Latin America and a workforce of 1,500 employees.

In the past seven years, Pace Americas has grown from serving just two customers and generating about $30 million annual sales to more than 150 customers -- including Comcast and AT&T -- and pulling in $1.7 billion in revenues.

Previously Pulli was CEO of Digital Latin America (DLA), a broadcasting company he founded in March 2000 that serves the Latin American market with more than 50 channels of digital programming. He also spent eight years at Motorola in various international senior management positions, including vice president of international operations, and worked for Allied-Signal in various financial roles.

Pace's customers include Comcast, AT&T, BT, UPC Broadband, Sky Mexico and DirecTV Pan Americana. The company, based in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, U.K., has about 2,300 employees worldwide in location including the U.S., France, India and China.

In May 2011, Pace appointed Leighton, former non-executive chairman of the Royal Mail, as its new non-executive chairman with the retirement of Mike McTighe, who stepped down after 10 years on the board including five as chairman.