Australian wireless telecommunications hardware manufacturer, NetComm Wireless (ASX:NTC), is on the search for a new chief executive officer, with long-time CEO and managing director, David Stewart, set to step down in December.
The company told shareholders on November 28 that Stewart, who has been in the dual CEO and managing director roles for almost 20 years, will retire from the positions on December 23.
“I have had a long and wonderful career at NetComm Wireless and am proud to have led the company during a period of substantial growth,” Stewart said in a statement. “With a strong management team in place and a global business, I feel that the time is right for me to step down now.
“Having just made the announcement on the award of the Fibre-to-the-Curb [FttC] contract with nbn, I believe that NetComm Wireless is in wonderful shape with an extremely bright future and I leave it in very capable hands,” he said.
The company told shareholders it was eyeing a “material impact” from a master equipment and services supply agreement it inked with nbn, the company building Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
The deal, which was announced on November 23, sees NetComm Wireless supply nbn with 1-port and 4-port Distribution Point Units (DPUs) that have been designed for the nbn’s FttC projects, and related services, with work likely to commence during 2018.
The win followed an announcement by nbn in September that it would consider FttC connection for over 700,000 premises previously earmarked for Optus Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (HFC) infrastructure or Fibre-to-the-Node (FttN) technology.
“Under his [Stewart’s] guidance, NetComm Wireless has won numerous awards for innovation,” the company’s chairman, Justin Milne, said. “Just a few months ago, David won the ultimate industry accolade when he was awarded the status of Industry Ambassador at the annual ACOMM Awards.
“David has overseen the growth of the company from less than $10 million market capitalization to almost $400 million,” he said.
Milne also moved to reassure shareholders that Stewart’s departure from the company’s executive ranks would not affect its performance, saying that it has a “strong, highly skilled management team in place”.
“David leaves NetComm Wireless in a very strong position to continue the company’s growth trajectory and deliver on the exciting potential ahead,” he said.
While the company’s board searches for a new CEO, it has appointed its chief strategy officer and executive director, Ken Sheridan, as an interim CEO.