Meet The Chief: Comtech Appoints Jeff Robertson as President of Terrestrial & Wireless Business Segment

On March 21, Comtech announced a key strategic hire – one of several over the course of the past few months – appointing public safety industry veteran Jeff Robertson as the new President of our Terrestrial & Wireless Networks (T&W) business segment.

One pillar of our strategy is continuously strengthening the company’s leadership, attracting the best talent to scale the organization and capitalize on both existing markets and new market opportunities. Investors will recall our recent hire of John Ratigan – a seasoned satellite communications executive – to serve as Chief Corporate Development Officer to champion these efforts. With John now serving as Comtech’s interim CEO, he’s accelerating this important work, and Jeff will be instrumental in this initiative.

Jeff is an ideal leader for Comtech’s T&W business given his storied experience in the public safety and telecom sectors. Over a nearly 30-year career, Jeff has held several executive roles, and is well-known and highly regarded by employees, customers, and capital markets participants alike.

Most recently, Jeff served as the President & CEO of Intrado Life Safety. During his tenure at Intrado, he strengthened key go-to-market relationships, managed crucial – and profitable – organizational restructurings, spearheaded key acquisitions to expand the company’s technological innovation, made key hires, and increased employee retention. Importantly, Jeff implemented a value-based selling approach that is very much in-line with our solutions-focused customer strategy, and which drove significant growth.

Jeff joins Comtech’s T&W business at a pivotal time for public safety communications. Historically, these businesses were attractive as they generated reliable cashflows combined with modest, but steady growth. Now, we are at an inflection point as step-changes in communications technologies are changing not only the performance potential of next-generation public safety, but have significant implications for accelerated overall market growth.

Just about every way people communicate has rapidly changed: from just voice historically to now include multimedia (text, image, and video), wearables, all our IOT devices (like connected smoke alarms and doorbells, or connected vehicles), and more.  It’s conceivable that in the near future, most requests for help will be automated, rather than being made via voice-based phone calls. The fact is that legacy emergency response systems were never architected to handle these new methods of requesting help. Yet, there is a critical need to manage emergency requests rapidly and securely from multiple devices, capture and interpret information, and prioritize the right response so our nation’s public safety dispatchers can improve emergency response.

Comtech is already satisfying this need as a trusted technology provider. In fact, we estimate that, when considering the need to migrate to next-generation 911 services at a global level, there is an expanding $4 billion addressable market – one which Comtech is uniquely qualified and positioned to capture. It’s the intersection of this exciting opportunity and Comtech’s already proven ability that excited Jeff to take the wheel as our T&W lead.

In his new role as the head of Comtech’s T&W business, Jeff will oversee all aspects of operations, engineering, program management, new product development, system design, strategic planning, and customer engagement within the segment. Beyond his recent work at Intrado, Jeff brings a wealth of public safety experience to Comtech. Jeff has previously served in executive positions as Senior Vice President of emergency data platform company RapidSOS, and as CEO for Airbus DS Communications (which was sold to Motorola Solutions), a provider of command center software for emergency call handling. Finally, Jeff brings a unique, and personal, understanding of the importance of public safety to his role: as a police officer and deputy sheriff, he knows first-hand the kinds of communications challenges first responders face. He is an ideal candidate to oversee Comtech’s future in the public safety space, and his full background is detailed in our official press release.

For our investors, Jeff’s hire creates a real advantage: he’ll be an excellent steward for a T&W business that is already on solid footing and extremely competitive – as demonstrated by our recently-announced $48 million contract renewal with Washington State. Jeff is an experienced leader that is adept at strategic positioning, identifying and executing the necessary business decisions for sustainable growth, reducing costs, and who knows how to build a culture which not only brings teams together, but keeps them focused on delivering results.

We’re thrilled to have Jeff on board – and so are our customers, who are looking for a trusted partner to help them prepare for and implement reliable, powerful next-generation public safety solutions over the coming years. With Comtech’s history, vast customer base, and longstanding focus on emergency response, we believe we are well-positioned to serve this market transformation, and can grow market share and revenues while doing so.

Stay tuned for more Signals posts to hear from Jeff directly about his thoughts regarding the public safety space, why the iron is hot to strike right now, and how he’ll be guiding Comtech forward to capture these opportunities.

Forward-Looking Statements Certain information in this blog post contains statements that are forward-looking in nature and involve certain significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from such forward-looking information. The Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings identify many such risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking information in this press release is qualified in its entirety by the risks and uncertainties described in such Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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