Whall nabs two ADT vets, two Stanley vets for senior staff at P1

New team includes Dale, Haenggi, Young, Bresingham
Thursday, June 10, 2010

DALLAS—Within four days of the June 4 closing of the GTCR/Protection One deal, CEO Tim Whall had named two former high-level ADT executives to his senior staff and together they’d already logged thousands of miles and hit several cities on the first leg of a two-month road trip.

During a June 8 stopover here in Dallas, Whall, his newly named SVP commercial and residential sales, Bob Dale, and newly named chief marketing and customer experience officer, Jamie Rosand Haenggi, spoke to Security Systems News about everything from the state of the ProOne union to plans for the future of the company’s five divisions.

What’s the first order of business? “Meet everyone,” Whall said. “We have another 30 visits lined up within the next 60 days.”

Whall was eager to talk about Dale and Haenggi joining Protection One: It’s further evidence of the opportunity for growth at this company, he said. Bob Dale had “a great job at a great company.” It has to be “an exciting opportunity to get someone like Bob Dale, who has 25-plus years of experience, to make that jump from ADT.”

Today, one hour after Security Systems News filed this story, Protection One also announced that two former Stanley executives had joined Whall's inner circle. Don Young was named chief information officer and Dan Bresingham was named chief financial officer. Young was CIO at Stanley before moving to Pro One. He worked with Whall at ADT and at HSM. At Pro One, he'll "build systems to enhance the customer experience and oversee all monitoring operations." Bresingham was CFO at Stanley. He also worked with Whall at HSM.

Whall called Haenggi’s ability to connect with customers through marketing and design customer experiences “second to none in the industry” and said these efforts “will be a keystone for the company moving forward.”

Haenggi previously served as VP of worldwide marketing at ADT. Most recently, she was CMO at Vonage, the company to which former ADT president Mike Snyder jumped.

Dale said he’s “very, very excited to be part of the future of Protection One.” His decision to leave ADT was based on his respect for Whall’s abilities and his understanding of the possibilities for growth at P1: “I couldn’t be more committed.”

Haenggi said she’s happy to “come back home to the alarm industry” after a few years at Vonage. Her experience growing the ADT brand will come in handy at P1, which she said has a solid reputation and a great opportunity to build a great brand, “and it all starts with the customer experience,” she said. With the team P1 has in place, Haenggi predicted, “we’ll be a force to be reckoned with in terms of delivering that best-in-class customer experience.”

Will Whall focus special effort on the commercial part of the business, as some outsiders have suggested? He’ll be working on growing all divisions, he said: resi, commercial, national accounts, monitoring and multi-family. “We’re going to grow market share across the board,” he said, “across all five divisions, and the hallmark will be taking care of the customer.”

By building on P1’s current strengths and “sharing best practices learned over the years, we’ll take it up a notch.”

It’s no secret that Protection One’s been “revenue neutral for a while, while keeping RMR slightly shrinking to flat,” Whall said. “Now it’s our job to get [those metrics] moving in the right direction.”

GTCR, Pro One’s new owner, is onboard. In recent years, it was a different story, Whall observed. Because it costs money to create accounts in the alarm industry, “the less you sell, the more cash you have.” P1’s management formerly had their hands tied to a certain extent by its public shareholders, he said, who were interested in having cash on the balance sheet.

Pro One employees have been equally enthusiastic. “The branches want to grow, they’re fired up to do that and God knows we’re excited to do it with them,” he said.

Asked about the multi-family division, Whall noted that Protection One does not have much competition in that area. In recent years, P1 has successfully introduced wireless solutions to its multi-family customers. “We are number one in that space, and we have some clever ideas about more services we can add,” Whall said.

Any talk of changing the name? Whall joked that if his objective were to get, say, two new customers, they could change the name to Tim’s Alarms. With more than one million customers right now, he said, they’ll be sticking with Protection One.

What of suggestions made by some pundits that Whall may be interested in shedding Protection One’s wholesale monitoring business? They’re wrong, Whall said: “We love wholesale and we’re keeping wholesale.”