News

Calling New CEO

2/01/2008 7:00 PM Eastern

Former Cedar Point Communications president and CEO Andy Paff said he has left the company because it was “really time for someone else to come in.”

“I spent the last four years taking what was a startup to a significant company,” Paff said. “We need to find somebody new, with some new energy.”

The voice-over-Internet-Protocol switch company, which announced Paff’s departure last week, appointed board member Curt Hockemeier as interim CEO while it searches for a permanent replacement.

At a Glance
Cedar Point
SOURCES: Company reports
Business: Voice over Internet Protocol switches and software
Interim CEO: Curt Hockemeier
Headquarters: Derry, N.H.
Founded: September 2000
Revenues: $68.1 million in 2006
Employees: About 200
Cable customers: Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Bresnan Communications, RCN, Comcast, Mexico’s Cablemás, Atlantic Broadband and others

The executive change comes after privately held Cedar Point has made it clear that it has been considering filing for an initial public offering.

Cedar Point chief financial officer Don Halsted last week said the company has “no immediate plans around filing an IPO” but said that going public is a viable option at some point in the future. Stock-market gyrations over the past few months, stemming from financial industry losses related to subprime mortgage failures, make this a difficult time to consider IPOs, although programmer Current TV announced plans for one last week. (See Scoreboard, page 20.)

Cedar Point’s customers include Comcast, Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Bresnan Communications and RCN.

The company says operators use its switches to offer voice-over-IP service to 4 million households worldwide. According to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, U.S. operators counted 12.1 million phone subscribers as of mid-2007.

Inc. magazine, on its annual ranking of fastest-growing private companies in September 2007, listed Cedar Point in second place based on revenue growth from $455,204 in 2003 to $68.1 million in 2006. The magazine also listed Cedar Point in the top spot on its ranking of 100 companies intending to go public.

The company has not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO, but has signaled its intentions to do so — for example, by touting its prominent ranking on the Inc. IPO list.

Halsted confirmed that Cedar Point’s sales for 2006 were about $68 million and said revenues for last year were “flattish.” However, he added, the company reduced its reliance on one very large customer in 2006 to have a more diversified revenue base last year. Halsted would not say whether Cedar Point is profitable.

Hockemeier, who joined the Cedar Point board in February 2003, previously was president and CEO of Arbinet-thexchange, an electronic exchange for telecommunications companies to buy and sell voice minutes. Before that, he was chief operating officer for AT&T Broadband’s telephony operations.

“I’m very comfortable with Curt in the CEO role,” Paff said. “I think the timing was excellent for everybody.”

Hockemeier “has the background and experience to continue to drive the company forward,” Bruce Sachs, Charles River Ventures general partner and Cedar Point board member, said in a statement. “I also want to thank Andy for his many contributions to the company.”

Paff said he will remain a large shareholder of Cedar Point; he declined to specify the size of his stake. Paff joined the company in December 2003 after serving as chief technology officer at Broadband Services and holding senior positions with Antec (now part of Arris) and Worldbridge Broadband Services.

For the immediate future, Paff said he doesn’t have plans to work with a new venture. “I’m going to take a little bit of a rest, if you know what I mean,” he said.

Derry, N.H.-based Cedar Point has raised $85 million in financing from investors including Ascent Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital, Focus Ventures, J.P. Morgan and Star Ventures.

Its Safari C3 Media Switching System can support between 5,000 and 100,000 subscribers per switch to deliver voice over IP and multimedia services.

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