Ingenu Has New Boss in Alvaro Gazzolo

US IoT player moves its chief operating officer into the role of president several months after embarking on a radical new strategy.

Iain Morris, International Editor

January 23, 2019

3 Min Read
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?)

Want to know more about the Internet of Things? Check out our dedicated IoT content channel here on Light Reading.

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

About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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