Freewave Sets Sights on Fast-Growing Industrial M2M Marketplace
Industry leader Kim Niederman selected as CEO, Co-founder Steve Wulchin moves into new role as President to help shape the next stage of the company’s evolution
Boulder, Colo., July 9, 2014 – FreeWave Technologies announced exciting new executive appointments that will position the company for continued growth and leadership in the exploding M2M and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) markets.
In line with this vision, FreeWave has appointed Kim Niederman as its new CEO. Niederman has more than 20 years of senior executive experience (including serving as CEO and President) with a successful leadership track-record in public and private companies of all sizes – ranging from large high-tech (Cisco Systems), to mid-size corporations (Polycom, Inc., FORE Systems, 8x8, Inc.), and several start-up firms. Most recently, he served as President of 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), where the company's market cap increased five times to more than $1 billion in two-and-a-half years under his leadership. FreeWave Co-founder Steve Wulchin will continue to play a significant role by serving as President and overseeing FreeWave’s penetration into existing and new international markets.
“FreeWave has built a great management team and employee base, along with innovative technology, to support customers with mission-critical applications in the fast-growing M2M and IoT markets,” said Niederman. “We have the right people with the right technology at the right time. I couldn’t be more excited to help lead this company to its next level of success.”
A Vision and a Carefully Orchestrated Re-Birth
More than 20 years ago, Wulchin co-founded FreeWave with a vision of building a company centered around the customer and providing high quality, reliable data communications. Following this approach, FreeWave earned a reputation for delivering products that worked reliably for years and in conditions where other products failed in its core markets of oil and gas, government and defense, precision agriculture and utilities. Under Wulchin’s guidance, more than 1 million radios have been deployed in the field.
After landing one of Colorado’s largest private equity placements in 2007 of $113 million, Wulchin established a new strong bench of executive talent to help lead the company to its next level of success. Over the past several years, he assembled a new, highly-skilled management team that leads the engineering, finance, operations, sales, marketing and human resources functions. Wulchin drove the effort to bring on another proven business leader to expand FreeWave’s leadership position in the industrial M2M and IoT markets while keeping a steady eye on serving the company’s existing customers and furthering its international expansion. Niederman’s expertise, business acumen and knowledge made him the perfect fit.
The new management team includes industry veterans poised to take the company into exciting new growth markets. Management team members include:
- Kim Niederman, Chief Executive Officer.
- Steve Wulchin, Co-founder and President.
- Karl Kunz, Chief Financial Officer – formerly CFO at Carefree of Colorado; Director of ISC FP&A at Honeywell Aerospace; and, several years in Finance at Hewlett-Packard.
- Ashish Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Products – formerly Vice President, Marketing at Alvarion; Vice Chair, Marketing Working Group of the WiMAX Forum; Director of Business Development at Ericsson; and, Manager, RF Engineering at Qualcomm.
- Greg Veintimilla, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering – formerly President and CEO at Vintrana; Vice President, System Engineering and Advanced Technologies at Powerwave Technologies; Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering at RadioFrame Networks; and, Manager, DSP Software Development at AT&T Wireless.
- Ken Granader, Vice President of Sales – formerly Vice President at Polycom; Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Switchpoint Networks; Regional Manager at Cisco; and, Major Account Sales Manager at Xerox.
- Kelly Wenzel, Director of Human Resources – formerly Senior Regional Human Resources Manager – East and West Coasts – at Animal Health International; Director, Communications at SeatonHill; President HR Strategy and Compliance Consulting at Wenzel Consulting Firm; and, several other Human Resource and Communications positions in other leading organizations.
“FreeWave is only as strong as the team and leadership it employs,” said Wulchin. “That’s why I am excited to bring Kim on board to complete our senior management team. We now have the executive vision and talent to lead our employees in delivering innovative new technologies for our customers in the industrial M2M and IoT markets. The solutions we will deliver, together with a strong strategy and execution plan, will help take FreeWave to exciting new levels while continuing to serve our customers with the care they have come to expect.”
A Vast Market Opportunity
Since its beginning – long before the term “M2M” was popular – FreeWave has been connecting devices wirelessly for mission-critical industrial applications. The expected growth of the industrial M2M market plays well into FreeWave’s expertise as demonstrated by its recent introduction of WavePoint, the company’s new versatile high-speed wireless networking platform that securely communicates industrial data over long distances to enable M2M, IoT, broadband and SCADA applications. Since its market introduction in March, the WavePoint product family has already received four M2M industry awards for its innovation and technology design.
“The M2M and IoT markets are redefining the tech ecosystem and offering tremendous opportunities for growth and solution differentiation,” said Chris Rommel, executive vice president at VDC Research. “Players who develop a well-crafted strategy aimed at key vertical markets and that offer game-changing technologies will be able to take advantage of a promising industry ripe for leadership and innovation.”
Achieving Excellence in Customer Satisfaction Remains Top Priority
In addition to its technical excellence and innovation, FreeWave has also developed a long-standing reputation for its relentless focus on its customers. Every employee is committed to doing whatever it takes to serve its customers – from the assembly technician on the line to the product engineering team all the way up to every executive. This philosophy has paid off well for FreeWave and will continue to be a core value of the company under Niederman’s helm.
For more information, visit www.freewave.com.