SSI Hall Of Fame: 2006
Current Status: Consultant to GE Security
Why He’s On the List:
- Built Interlogix and GE Security by acquiring technology companies like ESL, Aritech, Casi Rusco, Supra, Kalatel, Impac, Tecom, Fiber Options, VisioWave, Monitoring Automation (MAS), Ion Track, InVision and Edwards Systems Technology (EST)
- Grew $32 million sensors manufacturer Sentrol into $600 million diversified security concern Interlogix
- Strong leadership helped evolve and position electronic security on a global platform
- Focused on providing solutions for customers rather than just products
- Invested in technology and entrepreneurs that brought new approaches, technologies efficiencies and higher levels of quality to the industry
- Industry involvement, serving as SIA’s president and winning association’s George R. Lippert Memorial Award in 2003
Something People Might Not Know: During a 37-year business career, he has logged an equivalent of three years in flying time while transacting business in more than 60 countries. As a result, he has managed to read 50-plus books a year.
Most Memorable Moment: “The first day of my business career, shortly after leaving Harvard Business School, my new boss Ben Bailar – who later went on to become U.S. Postmaster General and Dean of the Jessie H. Jones Graduate School of Business Management at Rice University – passed along ‘words of wisdom’ that continue to stick with me.
“He said. ‘Whatever you do in business, don’t compromise your values because if you do it once, the second time becomes easier. Set the standard, and don’t follow others.’ In turn, I have passed this message to new managers and seasoned executives alike throughout my career. I strongly believe values shape an organization and enable success.”
How Things Have Changed: “When I first joined the security industry in 1990, there were only a few large, international companies involved and being a $100 million company was considered ‘big.’ Companies sold products, and the channel controlled the end-user customer. As security has become an essential infrastructure industry, some of the largest and most successful global corporations have gained industry leadership. GE has been a model in the way it understands customer requirements, invests in providing value ROI [return on investment] solutions and advances technologies by making company-wide technology resources available to the security group.”
What the Future Holds: “I see the next period of the industry moving from concerns about integration to a focus on providing vertical solutions that satisfy specific customer segments. I don’t believe we will think of segmentation like residential, commercial and government or classify companies as manufacturers, integrators or monitoring services. In the coming years, I see the security industry evolving where a customer is provided a comprehensive business solution.”
Reaction to Being Inducted: “It’s an honor to be thought of as an industry leader who has made a significant difference. More importantly, I take this as recognition for those partners and friends on the team who have played key roles in building the foundation at GE Security.”
- Earned a degree in government from Harvard University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business
- Early career included stints with American Can Co., CCMP Management Consultants and Gladding Corp.
- Spent 14 years with Colortran Inc.‘s U.S. Lighting Group, eventually ascending to president/CEO
- In 1990, recruited into Sentrol Inc. as president/CEO
- Served as president of the Security Industry Association (SIA)
- Oversaw acquisition by SLC Technologies Inc., merger with Interactive Technologies Inc. (ITI) in 2000 and subsequent creation of Interlogix Inc.
- Remained president/CEO when GE acquired Interlogix in 2002 for $777 million
- Spent next three years in charge of GE Interlogix and then GE Security
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