As the new CEO of Arris, Bruce McClelland has some big shoes to fill as he takes on the top job at one of the industry’s top tech suppliers, while longtime company leader Bob Stanzione shifts to the role of executive chairman while remaining chairman of the board.
Multichannel News technology editor Jeff Baumgartner caught up with McClelland as he prepared to assume the CEO post on Sept. 1 and discussed his plans, priorities and vision for the company. An edited transcript of the discussion, which was also distributed last week by Multichannel News in Philadelphia at the SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo, follows.
Multichannel News: What are your top priorities as you enter the new role, and what can you tell us about your vision for the company?
Bruce McClelland: The big priorities for us over the next couple of years are around things like broadband expansion and the desire of all the service providers, whether you're a twisted pair, fiber, or an HFC provider, is to continue to drive up additional speeds and race toward this Nirvana of gigabit per second to broad-based consumers around the world.
That’s the foundation of what's driving our business these days. I feel like we're fairly well positioned. Shame on us if we don't execute well and get our own fair share of that over the next several years.
We also feel fairly bullish on the entire video pay TV industry and believe that the service providers and their business around aggregating content and creating a compelling experience for consumers will really win out.
MCN: On the Pace deal [closed in January 2016], what’s been driving that forward, and what’s the status of the integration?
BC: The big thesis or logic behind the acquisition was to continue to gain scale in this crucial industry and keep up with the overall consolidation. We're also trying to do market expansion. One of the key verticals we didn't have big exposure into was satellite. And [the Pace deal] kind of checked that box pretty well. And we wanted to grow our international business. Pace…had [more] international customers and a stronger international business.
Going through an integration like that where there are overlaps from a product and technology perspective is always a painful process. Synergy is a euphemism for reducing expenses and that ultimately impacts jobs. We tried to go through that in a very thoughtful fashion, but get it done, and get it done quickly. We're happy to report that it's mission accomplished -- a lot of that is behind us at this point.