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Devcon moves to 'streamline,' 'trim' after rapid growth

Devcon moves to 'streamline,' 'trim' after rapid growth After recently expanding to 50 branches nationwide, Devcon now plans more strategic growth, according to new CEO

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—After a rapid expansion during the past 18 months, Devcon Security is streamlining its business but is still planning to grow nationwide, according to the company's new CEO, Steve Hafen.

“We went through a period of rapid growth at Devcon, most of which was very positive, and now have looked at ways to streamline and trim so the business functions at its highest level,” Hafen told Security Systems News in an email interview. “We believe this strategy is in line with our plan to grow our national footprint in a controlled, strategic manner.”

SSN questioned Hafen after hearing from an industry source that Devcon—a super-regional based here that recently transformed itself into a national player with more than 50 branches nationwide—was closing 25 branches.

Hafen did not confirm or deny that report. And he didn't directly answer any questions related to closing branches.

When Devcon expanded, it grew its work force from 450 to 785. Asked if any Devcon employees would be let go and what the head count is now, Hafen responded: “With the suspension of some brand operations, some positions have unfortunately been impacted, but we believe the ultimate outcome will be more opportunities in the long term for our employee base.”

As it expanded, Devcon also opened a 23,000-square-foot national operations center in Irving, Texas, with 100 employees. Hafen told SSN the center is still part of the company's future. “There is no impact on Irving and in fact, [we] are continuing to expand the Irving office as we enhance our customer care functions,” Hafen said.

The company, owned by San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital since 2009, has recently undergone rapid turnover at the top. First, Golden Gate announced in February that former Protection 1 CEO Richard Ginsburg would be CEO, then about three weeks later Ginsburg was out and Hafen, former Pinnacle Security COO, took his place.

Did the recent changes in the executive team have anything to do with different visions about the company's expansion? Hafen replied: “Like many companies that go through a rapid expansion, there are necessary strategic adjustments. We have been through an evaluative process at Devcon over the past several months and are refining operations to ensure long-term success. This is a streamline process that will serve to strengthen the company overall.”


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