Milestone Employees Defecting to ViconBy John Honovich, Published Jul 02, 2015, 12:00am EDT
The hot company right now? Evidently Vicon.
Vicon has been stugglling for years and in the midst of merging with another troubled company, IQinVision.
However, last year, Vicon nabbed Milestone's CSMO. Now he is building an ex-Milestone team.
In this note, we examine the moves and the outlook for Vicon.
Most were quite surprised when Eric Fullerton left Milestone to take the Vicon CEO spot. After the Canon buyout, Milestone clearly became less interesting but Vicon, a long time ago leader, had fallen into significant problems.
Fullerton is showing that quite a number of his former Milestone co-workers respect and believe in him, with the following notable hires so far this year:
- Lawrence de Guzman [link no longer available], former Milestone Director, now VP of Sales APAC for Vicon
- Fredrik Wallberg [link no longer available], former Milestone Manager, now Director of Field Marketing for Vicon
- Jennifer Hones [link no longer available], former Milestone Manager, now National Distribution Program Manager for Vicon
Milestone appears to be a pretty safe to work despite the changes in being acquired. Being a cog into a corporate machine is certainly less exciting than being an independent company. Plus, Canon's ownership (of Milestone and now Axis) undermines Milestone's entire open platform corporate philosophy. However, Milestone has a strong position in the market and the VMS space is not changing rapidly so any declines are likely to be slow and gradual.
On the other hand, Vicon is high risk. Both Vicon and IQinVision have tarnished brands with weak competitive positioning. Plus, Vicon has less than $3 million in cash on hand, despite selling multiple buildings to raise cash (see Q1 2015 financials [link no longer available]). And the stock continues to suffer, now down to ~$1.27, 60% lower than when Fullerton was announced last September (2014).
Turn It Around?
From talking with Fullerton this Spring, the focus first seemed to be cleaning up old / inherited problems, which makes sense to us. Whether they can be repaired, and whether they can build up a viable business in a challenging, commoditizing market remains to be seen. Indeed, it is still not clear to us what the Vicon / IQinVision plan is as the ex-Milestone team seemingly tries to reproduce much of the old Milestone formula.
However, that Fullerton can attract experienced Milestone employees to Vicon is clearly a plus, both for him and Vicon.
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