HUNT VALLEY, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TESSCO TECHNOLOGIES INCORPORATED (NASDAQ: TESS) today announces that John D. Beletic has been appointed as Chair of the Company’s Board of Directors by unanimous vote of the independent directors. Mr. Beletic, age 68, replaces Robert B. Barnhill, Jr., age 76. Mr. Barnhill, who founded the Company and served as chair for more than 25 years, remains a director. The Board thanks Mr. Barnhill for his many years of service as chair.
Mr. Beletic’s appointment follows the adoption by the Board earlier this year of Corporate Governance Guidelines and Board Diversity Guidelines, which in addition to memorializing historical board governance principles, focus on reducing the age and length of tenure of directors over the next several years, and an increase in board diversity.
The Corporate Governance Guidelines provide that a director not be re-nominated to serve beyond the end of an elected term during which they turn 76 years of age, with the potential for a one-year extension. Under these guidelines, Mr. Barnhill, age 76, cannot stand for reelection at the Company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Board selected a new chairman in anticipation of that transition.
The Board Diversity Guidelines reflect the value of a diverse board in improving the quality of a board’s performance through a better understanding of opportunities, issues and risks, which enables stronger decision-making and can ultimately contribute to improved company performance and shareholder value.
In furtherance of these goals, the Board nominated, and at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on July 25, 2020 the shareholders elected, Stephanie Dismore, age 47, to serve on the Board. Ms. Dismore has served as a senior vice president at HP, Inc. since 1999, and currently leads all aspects of HP’s market strategy and P&L management for HP’s largest geographic market. With the addition of Ms. Dismore, two diverse directors have joined the Board over the past year, including Sandip Mukerjee who joined the Company as President, CEO and as a member of the Board in August 2019. Mr. Mukerjee brings significant industry experience, along with a strong focus on returning the Company to profitability.
Additionally, the Board expects that Dennis Shaughnessy will not stand for reelection at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, as a next step in the Board’s evolution and refreshment over the next few years.
The Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee will seek qualified candidates to fill future vacancies through various means, as necessary, including the assistance of an executive search firm. The Nominating and Governance Committee will consider the needs of the Board and the qualifications of each candidate, as well as diversity in accordance with the Board Diversity Guidelines. At least one new director candidate to be nominated by the Board for election at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders is expected to be diverse. Most importantly, the Board will seek candidates who have demonstrated a capacity to become strong independent directors, with a focus on protecting the interests of all shareholders.
Mr. Beletic has served as a director of the Company since July 1999 and as Lead Director since August 2008. Mr. Beletic was CEO of X-IO Technologies from November 2011 to May 2014 and served on its board until 2016. Mr. Beletic was a venture partner or operating partner with Oak Investment Partners, a venture capital firm, from July 2002 to April 2018. Mr. Beletic serves on the board of Shareablee, a social media analytics company, and J5 Infrastructure, a provider of site selection, zoning and engineering services to the mobile carrier industry. Earlier in his career, Mr. Beletic served as CEO of telecommunications companies Tigon Corporation, PageMart Wireless, and Weblink Wireless.
Business Strategy Recap
At the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on July 25, 2020, Mr. Mukerjee provided a recap of the Company’s business strategy, which has evolved over recent months as a result of close collaboration between the management team and the Board.
The Company’s initiatives for fiscal 2021, as previously discussed on TESSCO’s first-quarter results conference call include:
Managed Decline of Retail
By managing the decline of the Company’s Retail business, management will be able to better focus its attention on its growing Carrier and Commercial infrastructure businesses. Doing so will limit the negative impact of the retail business, both to operating results and the balance sheet, while permitting redeployment of capital to more profitable areas of the Company.
Complete Information Technology Transition
The Company expects to complete its IT transformation projects this fiscal year, including the replacement of dated and home-grown platforms with modern, proven software platforms that will help the Company to be more efficient and responsive.
Improvement of Tessco.com
The Company is focused on dramatic improvements to the Tessco.com channel. This initiative is focused on accelerated results, like those already seen with the renewed focus on end-user segments, targeted landing pages, recommended bill of materials targeted to specific industry verticals, and other digital supply chain services, all of which are centered on enabling a more complete solution for the Company’s commercial customers.
Beletic said, “We believe the success of these three initiatives, coupled with developing industry tailwinds, including global investments in 5G, WiFi-6, Small Cells and demand related to those from construction companies and OEMs, will enable the Company to overcome many of the headwinds it faces, result in improved EBITDA performance in the second half of fiscal 2021, and create a pathway toward full-year profitability in fiscal year 2022.”
About TESSCO Technologies Incorporated (NASDAQ: TESS)
TESSCO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TESS) is a value-added technology distributor, manufacturer, and solutions provider serving commercial and retail customers in the wireless infrastructure and mobile device accessories markets. The Company was founded more than 30 years ago with a commitment to deliver industry-leading products, knowledge, solutions, and customer service. Tessco supplies more than 50,000 products from 350 of the industry’s top manufacturers in mobile communications, Wi-Fi, Internet of Things (“IoT”), wireless backhaul, and more. Tessco is a single source for outstanding customer experience, expert knowledge, and complete end-to-end solutions for the wireless industry. For more information, visit www.tessco.com.