Terence Matthews has taken the helm of one of his former affiliates, ending the mystery of what the Newbridge Networks Corp. founder would do after selling his company earlier this year to French giant Alcatel SA.
Mr. Matthew's, the only person to found two Canadian technology companies that reached $1-billion in revenue, was named chief executive officer of Telexis Corp. yesterday.
Telexis is a 55-person private company that designs and manufactures network video and surveillance equipment that runs over the Internet. Founded in 1986 as Applied Silicon Inc., it became a Newbridge affiliate in 1996.
Telexis spokeswoman Sarah Dehler wouldn't say how much of the Company Mr. Matthews owns, but he often held stakes of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent in Newbridge's affiliates.
Mr. Matthews was not available for an interview yesterday but said in a news release that Telexis has great potential. "I am now turning my focus to what I see as the next wave in communications," he said. "Video applications such as video monitoring and streaming media services will soon be in high demand by consumer and corporate markets".
Mr. Matthews, chairman of Telexis for about two years, replaces Eli Fathi as CEO. Mr. Fathi becomes executive vice-president of business development.
The appointment means that Mr. Matthews, Alcatel's largest individual shareholder and a key figure in the Ottawa region's booming real estate and venture capital industries, is staying close to home. Like the former Newbridge and many of its dozen or so affiliates, Telexis' headquarters is in Kanata - the high-technology hub west of Ottawa - on property owned by Mr. Matthews' real estate company.
Alcatel, through its acquisition of Newbridge, owns 30 per cent of Telexis. Mr. Matthews also owns a major stake through his personal investment arm, Celtic House International Corp.
Technology analysts said Mr. Matthews' full-time commitment to Telexis puts the company on the industry's map and boosts its chances of making it big. Known for his entrepreneurial zeal and productive relationships with key figures in many of the world's largest telecommunications carriers, Mr. Matthews gives Telexis an instant profile, plenty of extra credibility and immeasurable high-level contacts with deep-pocketed customers, analysts said.
"If you didn't hear about these guys before, you'll hear about them now," said one analyst.
A charismatic figure who was often credited with being able to keep key employees at Newbridge largely through personal loyalty and "the cult of Terry," Mr. Matthews may also be able to attract talented new employees - perhaps even key ex-Newbridge workers - to his new venture.
The Welsh-born Mr. Matthews co-founded Mitel Corp. with Corel Corp. boss Michael Cowpland in the mid-1970s and later branched out on his own to create Newbridge, which realized $7.1 billion (U.S.) in stock on its sale to Paris-based Alcatel.