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Sigfox Sheds More Senior Staff, Including North America CEO

Iain Morris

Sigfox appears to be hemorrhaging top-level staff. The French Internet of Things (IoT) specialist, which has already seen an exodus of managers in recent months, is losing even more senior executives, including the CEO of the company's North American business, Light Reading has learned from sources with knowledge of the matter.

Allen Proithis, who has led Sigfox's high-profile operation in North America since 2015, left the company this month, while spectrum manager Thomas Schmidt is also no longer at the firm, sources say.

There has also been speculation about the employment status of Rodolphe Baronnet-Fruges, the executive vice president of operators, who is currently understood to be on sick leave. With responsibility for Sigfox's global network deployment, Baronnet-Fruges is one of Sigfox's key figures.

A spokesperson for Sigfox vehemently rejected any speculation about Baronnet-Fruges as "false," insisting the executive's position at the company was not in doubt. He declined to make any comment about Proithis and Schmidt.

Further executive departures, if confirmed, would add to the pressure on the French technology champion, whose technology provides data connectivity for smart meters and other industrial monitoring devices, amid reports of clashes between management figures and growing business challenges. (See Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash.)

Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and co-founder of Sigfox, is said to have clashed with some senior executives over company strategy.
Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and co-founder of Sigfox, is said to have clashed with some senior executives over company strategy.

Light Reading was unable to confirm the departures directly with the executives, who did not respond to our approaches. But the information comes partly from two sources whose previous revelations about staff upheaval have proven accurate.

Between March and November, Sigfox saw the departure of some of its most senior figures, including: Xavier Drilhon, the deputy CEO; Thierry Siminger, the Middle East and Africa president; Remy Lorrain, vice president of operations and networks; Stuart Lodge, vice president of global sales; and Thomas Nicholls, the head of communications. (See Sigfox in Peril as Senior Execs Exit – Sources.)

Jerome Burriez, who calls himself Sigfox's chief information officer on his LinkedIn page, left the company in December, according to sources. Burriez did not respond to an enquiry about his employment status. Sigfox declined to comment on his whereabouts but said his correct job title is or was information system director, and not chief information officer. (See Sigfox CIO Said to Be Latest Senior Exec to Depart.)

However, an internal company presentation recently obtained by Light Reading lists him as one of 13 "key people" at Sigfox under "new internal governance" and identifies him as chief information officer.

Baronnet-Fruges, Lorrain and Nicholls are also on that list, as is Allison Junoy, Sigfox's group general counsel, who left Sigfox in October, about 14 months after joining the company, she confirmed in a LinkedIn message. Junoy did not respond to a follow-up question enquiring about the circumstances of her departure.

Another senior manager whose role appears to have changed in recent months is Virginie Heringer Pashaus, who joined Sigfox as executive vice president of human resources in June 2015. Heringer Pashaus is currently working for Sigfox in a "coaching" capacity only, according to one source.

While Sigfox's spokesperson told Light Reading that Heringer Pashaus remained a company employee, Sigfox began advertising for a human resources director in November last year. Heringer Pashaus, who continues to identify herself as executive vice president of human resources on her LinkedIn page, did not respond when asked to confirm her employment status.

Next page: Flood of departures

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User Rank: Light Sabre
1/23/2018 | 8:35:36 AM
Re: Sigfox cleans up non performing staff
If in fact the changes are due to letting go of non-performing folks, one might wonder who was responsible for hiring the crew with such skills or lack thereof that weren't fully visible at the time of hiring. It's probably human nature to blame others when things go wrong. Maybe it's just part of the luck that drive business one way or the other?
User Rank: Lightning
1/9/2018 | 7:15:56 PM
Sigfox cleans up non performing staff
Hi Iain, what's wrong with you and Sigfox? this article should be titled: Sigfox cleans up non performing staff.

I believe this is a good thing. When you are a fast moving tech company, you need high performing individuals, doers to deliver on time all the time. This is a rare breed and you have always casualties for the ones that don't fit. This is the law of survival.

My guess is that it will be way more interesting to focus on the news of the day: 

The Chengdu High-Tech Industrial Development Zone has committed to an investment of almost €300M to deploy the Seniradom Sigfox solution in China's 20 biggest cities, following a one-year, 1500-person trial, beginning in 2018. (https://www.sigfox.com/en/news/senioradom-sigfox-sign-new-partnership-be-developed-chengdu-china). This is a game changer news where French president Emmanuel Macron, China General Secretary Xi Jinping and CEO of Sigfox Ludovic LeMoan signed the agreement yesterday.
User Rank: Lightning
1/8/2018 | 1:19:34 PM
SigFox down, LPWA Next?
Vodafone's crystal ball getting clearer?

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