Ottawa’s Quarterhill hires acquisitions specialist Doug Parker as CEO

Ottawa-based Quarterhill (TSX:QTRH)(NASDAQ:QTRH) has appointed a permanent chief executive whom the firm says has the track record to lead the company after its pivot into industrial Internet of Things acquisitions.

Doug Parker is the new president and CEO of Quarterhill, replacing Shaun McEwan who held the role in the interim since the spring. Mr. McEwan will resume his previous role as chief technology officer.

In a release, the firm describes Mr. Parker has having “extensive experience in acquisitions of technology and diversified companies.”

That makes him well-suited to execute on the firm’s new business model, which involves building a portfolio of companies in the IIoT space. Quarterhill announced the shift back in April and has since added three acquisitions to its portfolio, alongside its traditional patent-licensing division, WiLAN.

Investors have yet to show full confidence in the new game plan. The firm reported record third-quarter revenues last month, but earnings fell short of expectations as the newly acquired companies failed to meet targets.

Quarterhill executive chairman Jim Skippen says the firm is still searching for a permanent CEO for the WiLAN division, a role he held previously and will reassume in the interim.

Prior to joining Quarterhill, Mr. Parker worked with OpenText as senior vice-president of corporate development. According to the release, Mr. Parker oversaw approximately $2.5 billion in acquisition spending during this time and onboarded roughly 3,500 employees.

"I am thrilled to join Quarterhill and to be part of its dynamic evolution into a leading technology business aggregator," said Mr. Parker in a statement.

"Backed by a solid balance sheet, we have a strong initial platform and strategy to leverage, service and expand across various verticals and adjacencies.  I look forward to growing the company's capabilities and assisting customers to save costs, optimize assets and maximize revenue through data driven decision-making.”

Mr. Parker is expected to join Quarterhill’s board of directors shortly, and will be operating out of the firm’s Toronto office.

Last week, one of Quarterhill’s recent acquisitions, International Road Dynamics, was awarded a US$3.7 million contract with the Idaho Department of Transportation. The firm will install its weigh-in-motion technology to confirm compliance of commercial vehicles.

Quarterhill's shares were down 3.6 per cent to $2.12 in late afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.