Arecont EVP Schafer Ousted

By: John Honovich, Published on Oct 09, 2017

Days after IPVM reported Troubles At Arecont Vision, the public face of Arecont and the incoming Chairman of the Security Industry Association, Scott Schafer, has been ousted from Arecont Vision.

In this note, we share feedback from Arecont, examine the abrupt removal of Schafer, the issues behind this, his replacement, and the future for Arecont.

Schafer History At Arecont

Schafer joined Arecont in 2009 and, at least at a brand level, was a major benefit to Arecont. Schafer had been the SVP of Sales and Marketing at Pelco. While 2017 Pelco is its own sad state, in 2009, Pelco was still a major player. At the same time, Arecont was a small company, first with H.264 MP, experiencing very high growth but with minimal brand recognition. Schafer's Pelco experience helped validate Arecont.

Schafer had run sales, marketing, service and quality, the last element a dubious distinction given Arecont's track record:

Schafer Out Immediately

Schafer was ousted at the end of last week. His departure was effective immediately, with no transition period. He has been replaced by Raul Calderon, promoted to COO, as we explain below.

Factors Driving Schafer's Ouster

As we explained in Troubles At Arecont Vision, Arecont faces numerous issues, including:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

  • Arecont is no longer a player for lower cost MP cameras. Recall 5 years ago when Arecont (Schafer) aggressively promoted pixels per dollar and rationalizing purchasing of their cameras based on lower price. Before the rise of the Chinese, Arecont was a common low cost MP choice.
  • The increase of competitive options for multi-imager. While Arecont lost ground in lower-cost single-imager cameras sooner, they held up with multi-imager sales. Now, with so many competitive options, Arecont is challenged in megapixel.
  • Enterprise accounts, which often drive sales for multiple years and can make up a significant portion of revenue, having expanded options and reduced incentives to use Arecont products.
  • Loss of rep-firms, many of whom are switching to represent alternative brands like Hanwha, now actively working against Arecont to promote their new lines into legacy accounts.

Disliked Schafer

Schafer was widely disliked, according to numerous people close to Arecont, many of which gleefully reached out to IPVM to share the news. Common themes included Schafer being condescending, a micro-manager on sales reporting and a detriment to their salespeople, especially when Schafer wanted to visit accounts, which often caused problems because of his attitude.

On the positive side, Schafer did a good job of publicly promoting himself and building his own personal brand.

Still SIA Chairman Schafer

Despite his ouster, Schafer is still the incoming Chairman of the Security Industry Association through 2018. Schafer can simply start his own personal consulting company, make it a SIA member and continue. Indeed, it gives Schafer more time to dedicate to 'thought leadership'.

Ironically, this is the second SIA chairman in a row who has been abruptly ousted from his company. Recall HID's CEO abrupt ouster.

Next for Schafer?

Despite Arecont's problems and Schafer's role in them, we expect Schafer to have a number of companies seriously consider him. The security industry tends to be quite conservative, generally preferring to recycle executives rather than promote younger managers. Schafer is certainly well known and knows others in the industry, which is an asset.

COO - Raul Calderon Promoted

Raul Calderon has been promoted to COO. For many years he has run operations, engineering and product management at Arecont, now he is taking over the other departments that Schafer used to run.

Calderon has worked at Arecont for 10 years, at their California HQ, so he knows the company and industry well.

As much as those close to Arecont expressed displeasure with Schafer, they were equally happy with Calderon's replacement of Schafer. Calderon was consistently commended for being knowledgeable and personable.

However, there are certainly challenges for Calderon. Calderon has not run sales since before Schafer arrived so there are questions about how he will run sales at Arecont, especially given their major recent sales challenges. Moreover, Calderon takes the helm amidst both organizational and industry challenges so it will not be an easy task.

Arecont Statement on Schafer

Arecont, via Calderon, shared the following statement to IPVM:

"Scott Schafer is a good man and was instrumental in shaping Arecont Vision over the years. We wish him well as he becomes Chairman of SIA in 2018. I look forward to my new assignment and working with my team to shape Arecont Vision's future as well as the products and services we offer our customers."

Kaplinksy Still CEO

Power at Arecont, though, firmly remains with the man behind the scenes, Michael Kaplinsky, the 'owner' of Arecont Vision [link no longer available]. While Schafer has acted as the public face for the company over the years, Kaplinsky has always been the ultimate decision maker when it came to resources dedicated to improving (or not improving) quality, the strategic direction of the company and whether or not Arecont would be sold (numerous deals have fell through over the years based on Kaplinsky's desire for better offers, according to those close to the company).

A key element will be what Calderon can do to improve Arecont relative to the constraints that Kaplinsky places him under.

Future For Arecont?

Arecont has been in trouble for a number of years and the abrupt ouster of Schafer is simply the public confirmation of those problems.

The future for Arecont is tough. Kaplinsky and Calderon need to figure out what they are going to do now that both of their key long-term strategic advantages have been eroded. They once competed strongly on low-cost megapixel. That is gone. They more recently competed strongly being the main option for multi-imager cameras. This is fast eroding as competitors enter.

However, if Arecont can stop the quality problems (including the recent ghosting issues and ongoing beta firmwares) and try to re-build its brand (something that Schafer ignored), Arecont could be able to stabilize itself, which would be a positive first step forward.

Vote / Poll

9 reports cite this report:

Don't Deceive. Lessons From Scott Schafer on Mar 20, 2020
Deception is bad. We can learn some important lessons from Scott Schafer, a...
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry...
SIA Lobbyists Working On House Bill Ban of Dahua and Hikvision on Jul 10, 2018
While SIA is most known for ISC West, SIA maintains the industry's most...
Arecont Files Ch.11, Agrees To Sell To Turnaround Specialist on May 14, 2018
The long-anticipated sale of Arecont Vision is finally happening. After...
Arecont CEO And President Resign on Apr 18, 2018
This is good news for Arecont. Arecont's problems have been well known for...
ISC West 2018 Best and Worst on Apr 16, 2018
ISC West 2018 had strong attendance, modest overall new products, and a surge...
The 2018 Surveillance Industry Guide on Jan 16, 2018
The 300 page, 2018 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2017 on Nov 03, 2017
3 years ago, IPVM statistics accurately and early identified the rise of...
Failed Arecont China Acquisition on Oct 25, 2017
Arecont cameras are not the only things that fail. Arecont spent months...
Comments (17) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Opgal ThermApp MD Thermal Screening System on Apr 21, 2020
Israeli thermal provider Opgal claims they were first on the market detecting...
Huawei HiSilicon Shortage Impacts Surveillance Manufacturers on Aug 14, 2020
Huawei acknowledged problems and challenges for its HiSilicon chip business,...
2020 Mid Year Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Jul 27, 2020
The first half of 2020 has been shocking, for the world generally, and for...
Dahua Revenue Plunges, 3 Execs Resign Q1 2020 on Apr 29, 2020
Dahua's sales dropped by 19.47% in the first quarter of 2020 amid the...
NetPosa's Terrible Situation Worsens on May 19, 2020
NetPosa is fighting for its existence as the situation worsens for what was...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
LSP Presents 2nd Generation FP Power Supplies on Apr 29, 2020
Life Safety Power (LSP) presented its FP2 power supply in the April 2020 IPVM...
Face Masks Increase Face Recognition Errors Says NIST on Aug 04, 2020
COVID-19 has led to widespread facemask use, which as IPVM testing has shown...
Genetec Drops Support for Dahua and Hikvision on Jun 01, 2020
Genetec has dropped support for Dahua and Hikvision, citing US blacklisting...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Uniview H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 08, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
Viakoo Presents Cyber Hygiene for Cameras on May 28, 2020
Viakoo presented its 'Cyber Hygiene' and 'Service Assurance' products at the...
USA's Seek Scan Thermal Temperature System Examined on Apr 01, 2020
This US company, Seek, located down the road from FLIR and founded by former...
White House Trade Advisor Calls Hikvision "Very Evil Company" on Jun 24, 2020
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has called Hikvision a "very evil...

Recent Reports

IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Norway Ethics Councils Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
Today is your last chance to save $50 on registration for the Fall 2020 Video...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Avigilon Elevated Temperature Detection Camera Tested on Sep 17, 2020
Avigilon has entered the temperature screening market with the release of...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...