Now Avigilon's VP of Marketing is Out

By John Honovich, Published Aug 13, 2015, 12:00am EDT

In 3 months, the EVP of Engineering, the SVP of Sales and now the VP of Marketing of Avigilon have exited.

In this note, we review what happened and how this is likely to impact the company and its stock.

VP Out

After 10 years of advancing within HP, Margaret Herndon [link no longer available] was hired by Bryan Schmode as "Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications" in September 2014. Now, less than one year later, she has quit, according to multiple sources.

We did speak to an Avigilon marketing person on the company's main phone line, who said that, to her knowledge, Herndon had not left, though we also understand that Avigilon had not made any official internal announcement either.

Update: Presumably the Avigilon marketing team now knows, but there is still no official external confirmation. However, Herndon's LinkedIn profile now shows she works at Ericsson [link no longer available].

Challenging Fit

As we noted when they hired Herndon, the main concerns were:

  • No industry experience, which will require time to learn the dynamics / idiosyncracies of the video surveillance market.
  • Switching from HP, a low to negative growth, conservative culture and having to adapt to Avigilon's win at all costs approach.

We suspect the turmoil over the last year at Avigilon, combined with Avigilon's far different corporate culture (Avigilon Branded Half Naked Women, etc.) contributed to her exit.

Marketing Team Challenges

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Even before this, there have been quite a number of changes in Avigilon's marketing this year, the most notable being the exit of the Director of Product Management and Marketing [link no longer available] as well as their marketing manager [link no longer available].

Additionally, Herndon had hired a number of new marketing employees, including some from HP, such as the Director of Global Product Marketing [link no longer available].

Scaling / Growth Challenges

Avigilon continues to aim for its $500 million 2016 target and the high growth needed to deliver that. Given Avigilon's slowing growth rate and the industry's overall challenges, losing or firing the head of engineering, sales and now marketing in the course of 3 months is a major concern.

Of course, this is not the first time executive turnover has been an issue. Last year, the same concern arose after the CFO, EVP of Operations, previous EVP of Marketing and VP of HR, all exited. And then growth rate, profitability and the stock price sanked or struggled.

This new round of executives exits significantly increases the risk of further declines in growth and pressure on profitability. Plus, it places further strain on COO Schmode, under whose recent 'leadership', the company has experienced increasing problems.

Of course, they do have their new patent licensing program ramping up.

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