In a strategic move aimed at revitalizing its trajectory, global networking company NETGEAR, Inc. recently announced the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board, Patrick C.S. Lo, effective January 31, 2024. Concurrently, the Board has appointed Charles (CJ) Prober, a seasoned technology executive, to take the reins as the new CEO and Chairman. The decision follows a comprehensive search process conducted by the NETGEAR Board over the past 12 months, with Prober emerging as the ideal candidate to lead the company into its next phase of innovation.
The company has faced challenges in recent times, marked by a declining stock price, a 30 percent decrease in shares over the past year, and a net loss of $85 million in its most recent quarter. The appointment of Prober is seen as a strategic move to navigate these challenges and position NETGEAR as a high-performing leader in the consumer and business networking industry.
Prober brings over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, with a track record of driving growth, transformation, and innovation. His diverse background includes roles such as President of Life360, CEO of Tile (acquired by Life360), Chief Operating Officer at GoPro, and Senior Vice President of Digital Publishing at Electronic Arts (EA). Prober's expertise spans consumer electronics, software, and subscription services, making him well-suited to lead NETGEAR in its pursuit of excellence.
Thomas H. Waechter, NETGEAR Lead Independent Director, expressed the Board's confidence in Prober, stating, "CJ has the full confidence of the Board. We look forward to working with him and the NETGEAR leadership team to take the company forward for its next phase of innovation."
Prober, in his statement, highlighted NETGEAR's reputation as an admired and respected brand, emphasizing the company's focus on innovation in an era where connectivity is more crucial than ever. He said, “I have built my career on delivering innovative and industry-leading products and services and am proud to join the NETGEAR team to continue this path and to create value for all stakeholders, continuing the company’s strong focus on innovation in the industry. The path forward is incredibly exciting, and I look forward to partnering with the Board, our partners and NETGEAR’s global employee base.”
As part of his compensation, Prober will receive an annual base salary of $750,000 and is eligible for a target annual cash bonus equal to 120 percent of his base salary. His extensive experience in managing large teams and complex global businesses positions him as a key asset for the company's future success.
NETGEAR, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., has been at the forefront of advanced networking technologies since 1996. The company aims to simplify and improve lives by delivering innovative and advanced connected solutions, ranging from mobile and cloud-based services to performance gaming routers. Prober's appointment marks a pivotal moment for NETGEAR as it charts its course towards renewed growth and innovation under his leadership.