Ingenu hinted at a lack of confidence in former CEO John Horn’s ability to position its proprietary random phase multiple access (RPMA) IoT technology as a global leader, as it opened up on his departure and teased a new strategy.
In a statement issued less than a fortnight after a senior source told Mobile World Live Horn had left the company, Ingenu said it is seeking to bolster its management team with seasoned professionals who “possess the industry experience” needed to make RPMA the “worldwide de-facto standard for IoT connectivity”.
Babak Razi, company chairman and managing partner at Ingenu investor Third Wave Ventures, was named interim CEO while the company seeks a permanent replacement for Horn.
Ingenu said it is making the changes as part of a re-jig of its strategic direction, which includes an increased focus on developing its RPMA ecosystem “to bring simple, turnkey solutions to the IoT”, and leveraging “operator partnerships to deliver RPMA network connectivity across the globe”.
The company said current network deployments and technology licensees span 30 countries globally, and its ecosystem covers industries including utilities, oil and gas, smart cities and agriculture, asset tracking and environmental monitoring.
Interim CEO Razi offered no explanation for Horn’s departure when commenting on the new strategic direction and management shakeup: “Ingenu’s RPMA has been established as the industry’s disruptive connectivity solution, serving the massive IoT market opportunity.”
“With renewed emphasis on its technology, the company and its RPMA ecosystem are well positioned to benefit from this growth.”
While Horn seemed to tick all the right boxes in terms of industry experience (and CEO charisma), having previously headed up T-Mobile’s M2M business, Ingenu appeared to be losing ground to cellular Low Power Wide Area IoT standards including NB-IoT and LTE-M. Rival proprietary-based services from Sigfox and LoRa have also eaten into Ingenu’s market.
While announcing its new strategic direction, Ingenu updated its list of board members to reveal Verizon executives Ivan Seidenberg and Richard Lynch, and former Qualcomm CTO Andrew Viterbi, now occupy advisory roles. It was previously speculated the trio had stepped down alongside Horn after they were no longer featured on the board directory.
Whoever Ingenu chooses to replace Horn, they face an uphill battle to get the company’s deployment plans back on track. Rob Boesel, chief network officer at the company, told FierceWireless the company was reassessing its goal to increase its RPMA deployments from 30 in 2016 to around 100 during 2017, and was unable to confirm if the new strategy would result in layoffs.