I know most of my industry colleagues received the same email from Steve Pazol saying that he was planning various fishing expeditions now that his time had ended with nPhase, the company he founded in 2003. Most of us were thinking, ‘you lucky dog.’ Come on be honest, this was the second time we had heard him say he was winding down his career, so to speak, but then the good luck fairy swooped in once again.
This time Verizon Wireless announced it had exercised its rights to purchase the remaining 50% of its joint-venture partnership with Qualcomm, a wireless technology developer, which includes the people, platform, and legacy business of nPhase, the M2M infrastructure and service provider. The joint venture, which was officially spun out in August 2009, draws on the original Chicago-based company that Pazol launched. Prior to the 50/50 joint venture, Qualcomm acquired the original nPhase three years earlier in December 2006.
While Verizon might have decided to acquire the people, not all of the top executives from the founding company decided to drink the corporate wireless Kool-Aid or plan fishing expeditions.
So I’m thrilled to report that John Tillotson, who was with nPhase for almost 10 years (three months with Verizon)–even before it was a household M2M name–has joined Phigenics as CMO. In his new role, John will work on some pretty terrific stuff looking at the convergence of water, information, and communications technologies.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled for Pazol. I’m glad he is now back on the job at Qualcomm serving as EIR as he tries to figure out what he’s going to do with his life, Steve said, and I quote, “Couldn’t say no to that.” Who would? And what exactly is an EIR? Entrepreneur in retirement, executive in relaxation, or perhaps enjoyment in ready?
Setting Pazol’s EIR aside, I’m really excited for Tillotson. From where I sit, John is now working to make the world a better place. As a seasoned marketing exec, Tillotson has been leading marketing, strategy, and training that helped many of nPhase’s clients gather the information they need to service their assets, conduct diagnostics, and administer control for years, and now he can take those experiences into helping make sure our water is crystal clear.
At Phigenics, Tillotson will lead and develop the company’s evolving product and service offerings, training, certification programs, and corporate strategy. John told me he hopes to accomplish many of the same things he achieved at nPhase by helping Phigenics emerge as a leading company in defining a new category. And one of the core services provided by Phigenics is an M2M and smart services solution for water management.
Phigenics actually provides an innovative Web-based water-management platform driven by automated sensors collecting and archiving critical data to ensure that the water found in hospitals, hotels, resorts, casinos, universities, commercial buildings, cruise lines, and government facilities is safe and efficient. I guess everyone wins here as an aggressive new player enters the M2M arena with a solid visionary on its management team to lead it.