Ingenu Has New Boss in Alvaro Gazzolo
US Internet of Things (IoT) startup Ingenu has a new president in the shape of Alvaro Gazzolo, who appears to have taken over some leadership responsibilities from Babak Razi.
Razi was appointed Ingenu's interim CEO and chairman in July 2017 following the abrupt departure of then CEO John Horn -- in what seemed like a sign of problems at the young company.
But Gazzolo, who has worked as Ingenu's chief operating officer since May last year, stepped into the role of president in December, according to a LinkedIn update.
Light Reading approached Ingenu for a comment on the apparent promotion, and to enquire about Razi's current role, but had not heard back at the time of publication.
Like France's Sigfox, Ingenu has developed its own proprietary technology -- called Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) -- for connecting objects including smart meters and tracking devices to data networks. (See Ingenu Revs Up IoT Rhetoric.)
When Horn last spoke with Light Reading in April 2017 he was trying to secure funding for a speedier international deployment of Ingenu's networks. At the time, Ingenu was operating its own network in the US and working through licensees in other countries. (See Ingenu Seeks Funding to Support Growth.)
Yet just three months later, Horn had gone. Then, in March last year, Ingenu announced a dramatic change in its strategy, including plans to abandon its role as a network operator in the US.
Instead, said the company, it would transfer the management of its US network to licensees. In an apparent cost-cutting move, Ingenu said it would also turn over the manufacture of equipment to third parties inside and outside the US.
Named chief commercial officer at the time, Gazzolo assumed responsibility for growing the company's business with licensees and network operators.
An update on the company's strategic plan has not been forthcoming since March 2018.
Ingenu faces competition from not only Sigfox but also a technology called LoRa, which similarly relies on unlicensed spectrum to support device connections and counts US chipmaker Semtech as its chief sponsor. (See Can LoRa Withstand the Cellular Stampede?)
Perhaps the greatest threat, however, comes from NB-IoT and LTE-M -- cellular technologies that have the backing of some of the world's biggest equipment vendors and service providers, including Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD).
In other executive moves in the IoT market, Horn appears to have recently been named a board member at OptConnect, which offers managed services for ATMs, kiosks and digital signage.
OptConnect has also just hired Sean Horan, the former US sales director of Sigfox, as a senior enterprise sales director. (See Sigfox US Boss Is Out as Offices Close in Boston, San Francisco.)
— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading