Telecom and media industry vet Charlie Vogt has been named president and CEO of ATX Networks, and is coming on board to help the supplier of network and commercial video equipment extend beyond its traditional focus on cable operators and satellite service providers.
Vogt succeeds Ken Wildgoose, who has served as ATX’s president and CEO for the past 18 years. Wildgoose will remain with ATX as an advisor and maintain a slot of its board of directors.
Vogt is taking the helm of ATX just a couple of months after he stepped down as CEO of Imagine Communications to take on senior advisor role at The Gores Group. Vogt became CEO of Harris Broadcast in the summer of 2013, where he led several acquisitions and the splitting of Harris into two operational units – Imagine Communications and Gates Air.
Prior to Harris and Imagine, Vogt was president and CEO of Genband, headed up an IP switching company once known as Taqua, and was a key exec at companies such as Adtran, Ascend Communications, Accelerated Networks, Motorola, IBM, and Santera Systems.
Vogt is assuming the top spot at ATX more than two years after the company was acquired by H.I.G. Capital, a private equity company with $24 billion of equity capital under management.
He’s also coming on board following two recent acquisitions by ATX – InnoTrans, a company focused on the optical access/mote PHY market, and Pico Digital, a maker of commercial enterprise gateways for cable operators and satellite providers, as well as distribution systems for radio stations and broadcasters.
Heading into the new role, Vogt said his immediate priority is to achieve better alignment of the across the company’s product, sales and services teams and to “accelerate” the technology that ATX acquired from InnoTrans and it work around the optical node arena.
“That’s certainly where the traditional HFC market is transitioning to,” Vogt said.
He also sees the acquisition of Pico Digital helping ATX target new verticals like the hospitality industry. “That’s a market that’s got a lot of legs to it,” he said.
More generally, Vogt will be looking for ATX to extend and grow its business beyond its core focus on cable and satellite, which make up the bulk of the company’s revenues.
“I think it’s the right [time] for them to begin to branch out and patriciate in a lot of these new initiatives that will give them an opportunity to expand its...top-line revenue."
A big questions now is how heavily M&A will factor into that plan. Vogt’s pedigree has been expansion through organic growth and through M&A. On the latter side, he’s made about 17 acquisitions over the past ten years. At Harris/Imagine, he headed up acquisitions that include Imagine Communications, RGB Networks, OpenTV’s advanced advertising business, and Digital Rapids.
Vogt said M&A won’t be the focus out of the chute for Vogt at ATX, but don’t count out that possibility, either.
"I think they [H.I.G. Capital] know that I’ve got a history of what I’d call strategic and rounding out portfolio M&A initiatives,” Vogt. Said. “But my first order of business isn’t to look at what more we could buy. My first order of business is taking advantage of the technology we have and the two acquisitions that they made last year and focusing on expanding those and growing those."
“It has been an honor to lead ATX Networks and to be a part of the Company’s incredible team of dedicated employees,” Wildgoose said in a statement. “Charlie is a visionary and strategic thinker with a decades-long track record of hyper growth in the service provider and media communications industries. His passion and expertise in conjunction with the Company’s talented team and exciting new initiatives in the cable HFC access network and commercial video gateway markets positions ATX for an exciting and promising next chapter.”
“Ken Wildgoose has led ATX through several technology lifecycles and growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions,” added Camilo E. Horvilleur, board member of ATX Networks and managing director of H.I.G. Capital. “We thank Ken for his years of leadership and look forward to continuing to work with him as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. With a distinguished history of successfully building, transforming and growing companies, spanning the service provider and media communications industries, Charlie was a logical choice to succeed Ken.”