ICx makes changes at the top

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va.--After assembling a company from nearly 20 disparate acquisitions, Hans Kobler is relinquishing his roles as president and CEO of sensor technology manufacturer ICx to Colin Cumming, the company's CTO and head of the detection business unit. Kobler will continue as executive chairman at ICx. Cumming is one of ICx's founders, a founder and CEO of Nomadics before it was merged into the genesis of ICx. Last year, Cumming oversaw the acquisition of biological threat detection firm S3I.

With all of the acquisitions integrated, "at this point we feel like we've got a structure we like," said Cumming, "something that works and is commensurate with the market and the new reality, which is upon all of us. So at this point we felt it was the right time to move into the next phase, more of an operational phase.

"Hans was a builder, and I'm more of an operations person, so it seemed like the right time to do it," he continued. "My focus will be on running the company, and focused inwards, for our customers. And Hans will be focused outwards, looking at things of strategic nature, and developing international sales. M&A is in his bailiwick, along with corporate relationships, and dealing with the board."

While many think of ICx as providing solutions to federal and state governments, "the commercial market is an absolutely crucial part of the plan," Cumming said. "Our goal is to provide a suite of solutions, options to our partners, and that means dealing with that at the point where they choose." Essentially, he said, integrators can choose to resell one sensor at a time, a package of integrated sensors, "or we can be at an even higher level," Cumming said. "And we'll support those in any way they choose."

Cumming also hopes to make it "really easy to work with us," and ICx will be investing in training sessions in the field, webinars, in-house training, and "whatever it takes to expose our capabilities and potential to our partners."

For example, he said, "the products that we think are the most powerful are some of the newer ones, and in some cases they're not well known to the industry yet. Using radar for perimeter security, for example, is something we think is very powerful," where the radar identifies targets and points the camera in the direction of the target. "But, as with any new technology, there's a take-up period, an acceptance period," Cumming said, "so we're going to work very hard in reaching out to support new technologies, and we'll be supporting the well known stuff as well."