New CEO Jeff Glass on Skyhook’s Future and Leaving Bain Capital Ventures

12/7/12Follow @gthuang

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I jumped at the chance. Skyhook has tremendous technology and a talented team in a space that is very important, so this was perfect for me. I have tremendously enjoyed being an investor at Bain Capital and am confident I will have as much fun here at Skyhook.

X: Have you left Bain entirely, or are you still serving on boards and so forth?

JG: I am still connected to Bain Capital. However, I am transitioning off most and possibly all of my boards, but we haven’t finalized that yet. The key is that I want to be able to spend as close to 100 percent of my time running Skyhook as possible.

X: Give us a little personal perspective on getting back into CEO-ing, in a sector (mobile tech) you are very familiar with.

JG: This is really exciting for me as I dust off the cobwebs and get back into the action here. I love the people aspect to building a company, so my first days are being spent getting to know the broader team and understanding where people’s strengths and interests lie.

X: So what are your plans for Skyhook? What needs to happen there, given the competitive landscape and legal issues?

JG: The good news and the bad news is that mobile location is really at the center of the mobile revolution. As a result, our competitors, customers, partners, and eventual acquirers are the tech world’s giants. Navigating the competitive landscape, continuing to invest in our core intellectual property, expanding our customer list, rolling out some next generation products and having some fun along the way are all on the priority list. Then on my second week we’ll get some real work done…

X: Is there anything new in the Skyhook-Google court battle?

JG: Nothing to say about Skyhook’s patent strategy other than we have a large number of granted patents with more pending, and we continue to invest considerable effort innovating in the areas of mobile location.

X: What about the speculation that you are coming in to turn the company around and sell it?

JG: There is absolutely no mandate at all to sell. Periodically there have been suitors, given all the technology, team domain expertise, and business success; however, we’re no different than any other growing tech startup. We’ll continue to invest and grow until it makes sense to do otherwise.

The interesting thing about the business that Skyhook invented is that over the years the market moved directly into our sweet spot, so virtually every device manufacturer, mobile OS provider, and technology service provider is looking to partner or compete, build, buy, or license mobile location capabilities. Needless to say, this dynamic is challenging and exciting for our team, and we love being part of the mobile revolution today. When it comes to accuracy, time to fix, power consumption, and overall reliability around the globe, our core products continue to outperform our competition.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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