Radcom renews at Rakuten but needs new CEO

  • Radcom has been one of the key software partners to Rakuten Mobile
  • It has renewed its supplier deal with the innovative Japanese operator
  • But it is once again searching for a new CEO

Telecom software developer Radcom has some good news and, well, some not so good news… The Tel Aviv-based vendor has renewed its supplier deal with innovative Japanese network operator Rakuten Mobile but is also, once again, looking for a new CEO only months after appointing its last head honcho. 

First, the good news. Network monitoring specialist Radcom was one of the first vendors selected by Rakuten Mobile when it unveiled its plans to build a cloud-oriented, automated, software-centric mobile network: The vendor announced in May 2019 that its Network Intelligence software would be deployed by the greenfield operator. 

Now Radcom has renewed its multi-year deal with the Japanese telco, which has just announced that its subscriber base has topped the 6.5 million mark. The vendor noted in this announcement that its “collaboration will include advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics, such as anomaly detection and automated root cause analysis. These AI-driven use cases help proactively identify and prevent degradations, enabling Rakuten Mobile to maintain quality of service and drive efficient network operations and network automation monitoring.”

Hiroshi Takeshita, deputy CTO and head of network operations at Rakuten Mobile, added: “Radcom has been a reliable partner for Rakuten Mobile, and we’re excited to expand on our collaboration to include AI-driven service and network analytics critical for monitoring our customer experiences in real time.” 

But news of that ongoing engagement came just as the vendor unveiled that it is once again seeking a new CEO. The company announced earlier this year that former Nokia executive Guy Shemesh would be taking over from Eyal Harari (who retired) as CEO with effect from 14 February. Then late last week, it noted that Shemesh was stepping down for “personal reasons” and has been replaced on an interim basis by Hilik Itman, who has been with the company for 27 years and who has served as the vendor’s chief operating officer since 2020. Radcom’s board has initiated a search process to find the next permanent CEO. 

Executive chair Heli (Rachel) Bennun noted: “With my support, Hilik, the entire management team, and all the board members will ensure a seamless transition until we nominate a permanent CEO. I am confident that Hilik will navigate the company successfully during this transition period, and we will continue to execute our business strategy effectively.”

Bennun will be keeping a close eye on the vendor’s stock, which has been sliding in recent days, having lost almost 15% of its value in the past week and currently trading at $9.30 on the Nasdaq exchange, giving the company a market valuation of about $144m. 

Radcom, which also counts the likes of AT&T, Dish Network and Telefónica among its customers, reported an almost 12% year-on-year increase in annual revenues for 2023 to $51.6m, and a net profit of $3.7m compared with a $2.3m net loss in 2022.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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