Networking company: Comtrol gets new ownership, board

Comtrol Corp., a device connectivity and industrial Ethernet company, announced a change in ownership and corporate governance for the organization in late August. Learn who’s in charge and why.


Minneapolis, MN

Comtrol Corp

., a device connectivity and industrial Ethernet company, announced a change in ownership and corporate governance for the organization in late August. Learn who’s in charge and why.

Comtrol, in an Aug. 21, 2007, statement, said it’s now majority owned by Rebecca Beale, and has a newly reconstituted board of directors, which comprises four independent directors. These individuals have served in CEO and other executive leadership positions in “Fortune 500” companies as well as in smaller private and publicly held companies. Robert Beale, former majority shareholder, president, CEO, and sole director, has been formally removed from all aspects of leadership and control at Comtrol.

According to a statement provided by Comtrol: Robert Beale failed to appear at trial for personal income tax evasion in August 2006, and “the Hennepin County District Court issued an order removing Robert Beale from all of his offices with the company and directed Comtrol to hold an election for a newly reconstituted board of directors. Pursuant to a marital dissolution action initiated by Rebecca Beale, 100% of Robert Beale’s ownership interest has been transferred to Ms. Beale.”

The new board is made up of four independent directors and one inside director, all with experiences said to add to Comtrol’s 25-years experience as a company. They are:
—Bradford S. Beale, also Comtrol’s vice president of global sales, with responsibility for all of Comtrol’s sales and marketing.
—J.H. (Jim) Caldwell has experience managing and developing companies in the software and “software as a service” industries. He was most recently the CEO and chairman of Scout Information Services, a diversified information services company.
—Karen Gilles Larson has been an entrepreneur, certified public accountant, and executive, most recently the president, CEO, and director for Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., a diversified medical device company.
—James Murdakes, chairman of Image Sensing Systems (ISS), having retired as CEO in June 2007 after having been president and CEO of ISS from 2002 to January 2007.
—R. M. Rickenbach has managed several businesses involved in the technology products and services industries and has served on many boards of directors, assisting companies with start-up operations, leading an IPO process, international operations, strategic partnering, and merger and acquisition activity. He currently serves on the board of directors for Cyber Security, which develops and markets software that detects illegal use of desktop computer networks.

Comtrol describes itself as a leader in device connectivity, industrial Ethernet gateways, and intelligent embedded data communications, providing connectivity for PC or PLC platforms in a range of applications. Products include Comtrol DeviceMaster line of serial device servers and the Comtrol RocketPort family of multi-port serial communication products.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief , Control Engineering
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