Inrange CEO Exits

Did he fall out with the board?

December 29, 2001

2 Min Read
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The CEO of Inrange Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: INRG) has resigned his job due to what appear to be tensions with Inrange's parent company (see Inrange CEO Resigns).

Inrange says Gregory R. Grodhaus resigned his job and his post on Inrange's board "to pursue other interests." But word on the Street is that his departure is part of an ongoing management shakeout that began when Inrange's parent company, SPX Corp. (NYSE: SPW), started muscling in on its progeny's day-to-day operations this fall.

"This is part of a whole management change there," says one Wall Street analyst who asked not to be named. He asserts that the departure of CFO Jay Zager in October -- who was replaced by John Schwab -- was the first evidence of conflicts between SPX board members and Inrange execs (see Inrange Names CFO).

SFX, headquartered in Muskegon, Mich., is an industrial products company with several other subsidiaries that make fire detection systems, broadcasting gear, and automated fare collection systems, among other things. It took Inrange to IPO last year, then disappeard into the woodwork (see Inrange IPO Heats Up and SPX Announces Inrange IPO). Apparently it stepped back in once it became apparent that Inrange's finances were foundering this fall (see Inrange Lowers Guidance Post-Attack).

There are many signs that SPX is back in the saddle at Inrange. While Grodhaus is being replaced indefinitely by Inrange VP and general manager Sherrie Woodring, the company is clear that this is an interim step. And in its tersely worded statement today it makes clear who's in charge. Board chairman John B. Blystone (who is also CEO of SPX) is quoted as saying: "In October, a management committee was appointed to help get the business back on track with Lewis Kling, an Inrange director, overseeing the company's operations and providing leadership to the Inrange team."Kling is president of communications and technology systems at SPX. His background in business and technology (he has an MBA as well as an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) are evidently seen as the ticket Inrange needs to get out of the doldrums.

There may be some evidence that parental guidance is working. Back in September, the company had issued guidance for the present fourth fiscal quarter 2001 of $50 million to $60 million, with earnings per share of $0.00 to -$0.02 per share (see Inrange Points Finger for Q3 Loss). Early in December, it revised its guidance upward, indicating it hoped for $60 million to $66 million in quarterly revenues, with earnings of +$0.02 to -$0.02 per share (see Inrange Ups Guidance

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