DVTel CEO looks to ‘manage growth and scale business'

Interview with Yoav Stern
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—Yoav Stern told Security Systems News that he expects his experience in “global growth management, M&A, homeland security, and managing in many different cultural environments,” will help him in his new role as CEO and president of DVTel.

DVTel, a privately held maker of security management software, known for its iSoc product line, announced March 22 that Stern is its new president and CEO, and will also be a director on DVTel’s board. Stern takes over for Eli Gorovici, who served in that role for 10 years. Gorovici will continue to serve as an advisor to the CEO, and supervise certain strategic projects.

In an email interview, Stern told SSN that after his early days in the Air Force, he’s worked with “many different high tech markets and industries, always where high growth, fast-paced change and innovation were involved.” Stern has worked “on the side of the investors in a public venture holding company, on the side of management as a CEO and active chairman, and I have been a partner in companies, which I am still involved with. I was also and am still very active in investment community with raising money in many cases for the companies that I have run or partner in.”

In the next several weeks Stern’s goal is to meet DVTel customers, something he’s started to do. “It is top priority before doing anything else. I have just completed a tour visiting key integrator customers and end users across the globe. It is they, our customers, who will set our direction for the future.”

He said he was drawn to DVTel first and foremost by the employees “in all functions and at all levels. I have been walking into new companies and situations my whole life, and the human equity of DVTel is the best I have seen in 25 years.” And secondly he said he likes “the building blocks in three areas” of the company. “One is based in our technology; the second is in our relationships with the VAR community; and the third is in our strong end user interactions.”

Stern said his key goals at DVTel will be “to put in place the processes to manage growth and scale our business so we can successfully build a large business that is focused on supplying our customers, the VARs and integrators, on a conceptual level and in a perpetual manner, with two attractive propositions.” First, “Our integrators need more than only winning on the lowest price. We need to provide them with compelling differentiators to help them be successful.” And second, “even with our mature product line, I need to continue to drive DVTel to the point where its end users are always happy with the product, but no less important than that, that the VAR channel can make more money using our products because of their ease of use and because of their installation and maintenance features.”

Stern was president and CEO of a $70M multi-national company. Since 1997, he’s been co-chairman and one of four main shareholders of Bogen Communication International Inc. He was executive chairman of the board of Kellstrom Aerospace LLC, a $200M supply chain management company where he remains a shareholder today.

Previously, he was founding and managing partner of Helix Capital, a private M&A and turn-around advisory firm; president, COO and director of WordStar International, Inc., a $50M publicly traded Software Company; and was VP Business Development of a multinational industrial investment holding company. Stern served in the Air Force (10 years full time and 20 in reserve), where he was deputy commander of an F-15 squadron and was “involved in management and operations of highly advanced avionics and aerospace technologies.”