Avigilon CEO to depart following US$1b Motorola sale

Avigilon Corp. (TSX: AVO) CEO Alex Fernandes will retire from the company he founded following its US$1b sale to Motorola Solutions Inc. | Credit: Dominic Schaefer/BIV files

The CEO and chairman of Vancouver-based Avigilon Corporation (TSX:AVO) says he will retire from the company he founded following its US$1-billion sale to Motorola Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: MSI).

Mention of Alexander Fernandes’ future role with the company specializing in high-definition surveillance software and hardware was absent from the February 1 announcement of the blockbuster acquisition.

Avigilon declined an interview request from Business in Vancouver following the announcement of the sale to Motorola.

"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished at Avigilon, growing from a start-up to become an industry leader," Fernandes said in a February 8 statement.

"Avigilon has a strong and proven leadership team, and I'm confident about the company's future."

The Montreal-born entrepreneur founded QImaging in 1999, which he then sold three years later for $20 million.

Fernandes founded Avigilon in 2004 using profits from the QImaging sale.

He took the company public in 2011, raising C$25 million in an initial public offering that offered shares at C$4.50. The deal with Motorola will see the tech giant acquire all the company's outstanding shares for C$27 a share.

“Nobody believed that Alexander could deliver the quality of image at the price and he innovated like crazy and was able to deliver,” Brent Holliday, CEO of Garibaldi Capital Advisors, told BIV.

“I suspect that he’s going to want to be more of a mentor and a contributor rather than an active entrepreneur again, but you never know.”

Avigilon also announced February 8 that chief financial officer Ric Leong has resigned from the company “in contemplation of the acquisition” effective immediately.

He is being replaced by Avigilon's senior vice-president of finance Samuel Cochrane, who will stay on with Avigilon after the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.