The Ottawa-based optical products maker said effective April 15, founder Arvind Chhatbar would be stepping aside as CEO to make way for Tim Thorsteinson, who’s currently chief operating officer.
Mr. Chhatbar will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors and will guide the company’s direction and strategies, along with identifying new acquisition opportunities, the firm said.
Previously a president of the broadcast division of Harris Corp. and the former CEO of Leitch Technology, Mr. Thorsteinson steps into the top role after three months as chief operating officer and four months as a director of the company. He will be responsible for helping Mr. Chhatbar develop its growth strategies and for executing on those plans through the overall management of the operations of the company, the firm noted.
“This is a natural evolution in the development of Enablence,” said Mr. Chhatbar in a statement.
“As companies grow, they must continually evaluate the skill sets required to enhance the business and adjust them accordingly. Tim Thorsteinson, in his three months as chief operating officer of Enablence, has rapidly identified the challenges Enablence faces and initiated the changes required to meet those challenges and elevate our operating performance. Tim brings proven success in the management of growing public companies and together, we anticipate a bright future for Enablence and its stakeholders.”
Mr. Chhatbar founded Enablence in late 2003 after spending five years in the technology licensing section of the National Research Council. He took the company public in 2006, then gradually expanded the company from its main focus as a maker of planar lightwave circuit components by making a slew of acquisitions between 2007 and 2008 in an effort to corner the fibre-to-the-premise market.
However, the financial meltdown derailed the company’s big play and it recorded a $76.8-million loss in its fiscal 2009 year due to massive writedowns from its five purchases.
Sales fall in Q3, but losses continue to narrow
The announcement of the senior management shift came at the same time as its third-quarter financial release, which showed the company earned $12.33 million in top-line revenues, down from $14.79 million.
The firm attributed the drop to delays in shipment resulting from supply chain issues, but noted that its key optical components business achieved a 48-per-cent increase in revenues compared to a year earlier.
“We are anticipating that the delays in shipments experienced in the quarter will be recovered in our fiscal fourth quarter ending April 30, 2010,” added Mr. Chhatbar.
The company also highlighted the fact that revenues for its main optical components business increased 48 per cent year-over-year.
Mr. Chhatbar noted that, after adjusting for inventory writedowns, the company managed to cut operating losses for the fourth consecutive quarter, to $8.42 million from $10.39 million.
Net losses also shrank to $10.39 million or four cents per share, from $49.45 million or 24 cents per share a year earlier.
Enablence noted $6.3 million of the latest third-quarter loss was made up of non-cash charges, including a $4.4-million writedown on intangible assets.
“We will continue our efforts to grow revenues, improve margins and cut selling, general and administrative costs in order to reach positive cash flow performance as soon as we can,” said Mr. Chhatbar.
Enablence connects in Nebraska
The company’s busy Wednesday afternoon also included the announcement of a new deal with the Cambridge Telephone Co. to provide fibre-to-the-home equipment to rural Nebraska.
Enablence said the telephone company – which is already using its broadband access switch and Broadband Access Manager software – has added on its Multimedia Aggregation Node for a new fibre rollout to support its voice and data services, along with a planned Internet protocol video offering.
The fibre network updates an existing copper one and is being deployed with the help of funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, the company said.
“Cambridge is yet another example of how Enablence works with rural telcos to help them leverage government support and deploy the advanced communications services their communities need to remain connected and relevant in the digital age," said Mr. Thorsteinson in a statement.
The new fibre network is being rolled out in two exchanges, Cambridge and Bartley, to serve 750 active fibre-to-the-home subscribers, with a further rural build-out to connect an additional 750 subscribers to take place over the next two to three years.