New Lantronix CEO Hopes To Bolster Channel IoT Opportunities

Irvine, Calif.-based Lantronix, which provides Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M solutions, has appointed Jeffrey Benck as its new CEO, the company announced Tuesday.

Benck (pictured), who will take over immediately, told CRN he hopes to get "more intimate" with channel partners and continue to expand Lantronix' reach with distribution partners.

"I anticipate we'll get more intimate with our channel partners by further discussing their needs and how we can help," Benck said. "Leveraging and using IoT technology is tough in many cases, and that's where we can help the channel with a richer set of solutions, education and training… we'll also continue to focus on our distribution reach."

[Related: Meraki Founders Launch Inaugural IoT Solution; Set To Launch Partner Program]

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Lantronix is a specialized networking company that provides smart IoT and M2M (machine to machine) connectivity solutions for various industries - including the health care, industrial and transportation markets - such as IoT gateways and modules, infrastructure management IT, and mobile printing products.

Lantronix' channel presence is spearheaded by its Premier Partner Program, allowing solutions to be marketed and sold globally through VARs, system integrators and distributors. The company recently signed a distribution agreement with Avnet Electronics.

Before joining Lantronix, Benck was CEO at Emulex Corp., a global supplier of advanced networking, monitoring and management solutions. Benck left Emulex in May when it was acquired by Avago Technologies.

Benck stressed that IoT is an explosive but still developing market where customers are constantly looking for the right connectivity and intelligence solutions—and channel partners to implement those solutions.

"IoT is a hot segment but while there's a ton of interest, not a lot of people know how to implement those IoT solutions effectively," Benck said. "A lot of companies out there are wondering how to tap into these opportunities. With Lantronix' leadership and technology, I see an opportunity to implement solutions for customers who have connected devices but would like to do much more."

The company's former CEO, Kurt Busch, resigned in November "to pursue other opportunities," according to Lantronix. Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Whitaker served as interim CEO while the board of directors completed its search for a new CEO.

"We are pleased to have a proven, successful leader of Jeff's caliber joining Lantronix," said Bernhard Bruscha, chairman of Lantronix's board of directors, in a statement. "The board is confident that Jeff's deep operational skills and extensive technology industry experience make him the right person to strengthen Lantronix's leadership in the marketplace and take it to the next level."

Benck said he plans to lead Lantronix in building more leadership products, and look at what third-party partnerships make sense for enhancing the company's products and customer reach.

"It's about seeing the capabilities that our products have and aligning that technology with the biggest customer opportunities," he said. "We have a large opportunity for growth here and so many customers are figuring out how IoT can be relevant for their businesses. Our company can play a bigger role in helping them figure that out."