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Former 888 chair Richard Kilsby confirmed as new non-executive chairman of Telit Communications

Among a host of board changes, interim chief executive Yosi Fait has also been given the gig on a permanent basis

board room
Telit always planned to strengthen its board following the drama surrounding former boss Oozi Cats over the summer

Richard Kilsby, the former chairman of gambling group 888 Holdings PLC (LON:888) has been confirmed as the new non-executive chairman at Internet-of-Things specialist Telit Communications PLC (LON:TCM).

Telit revealed earlier this month it was in discussions to bring in the 65-year-old, who is also a former director of the London Stock Exchange.

Kilsby is replacing the outgoing Enrico Testa, who is stepping down as chairman but staying on the board as an executive director.

Yosi Fait appointed CEO on permanent basis

Interim chief executive officer Yosi Fait has also been given the job on a permanent basis while current chief operating officer Yariv Dafna will join the board as finance director with immediate effect.

Current Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) director Simon Duffy has been appointed as Telit’s senior independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee. Non-executive director Davidi Gilo will leave at the end of the year.

The company might not be done with its board additions just yet, telling investors it is still looking at other candidates who could “strengthen it further”.

READ: Oozi Cats resigns after investigation into historical indictments

Telit was rocked in August by the resignation of chief executive Oozi Katz after allegations that he was wanted in the US under the name Uzi Katz.

In the wake of that saga, it was always the plan to beef up the board with UK-based independent directors with previous PLC experience.

New chair to run business in a 'prudent manner'

"Simon and I are committed to the board applying the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency across the group and ensuring the reporting and controls are appropriate for what is a very complex business,” said new chairman Kilsby.

“In particular, going forward we will ensure that the business is run in a prudent manner.

"Having reviewed Telit and its business in detail ahead of accepting our respective roles, Simon and I are confident that Yosi and Yariv are the right people to lead the business and drive it forward.

"Telit is very well positioned in the fast growing and exciting space of the Internet of Things. The team have developed a detailed bottom up plan to rationalise the cost base of the business and capitalise on its leading position in the fast moving end-to-end IoT solutions space.”

Kilsby added that after seeking external legal advice, the board is happy that a share sale by new CEO Fait back in July was all above board and “lawful”.

Margin pressures

Alongside the raft of board changes, Telit also gave a brief trading update with a more in-depth statement due in early December.

Telit is currently in the process of transitioning away from its higher margin, mature technologies (2G and CDMA products) towards more modern, LTE products which have lower margins.

The company said the pressure on margins stemming from this transition has been greater than expected and as a result, full-year adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) will be “materially below previous guidance”.

As is typical for Telit, revenues and adjusted underlying earnings for the second half will be greater than the opening six months of the year.  

Shares fell 20.8% to 149.8p late on Thursday afternoon.

--Updates for share price--

Quick facts: Telit Communications PLC

Price: 137.8 GBX

AIM:TCM
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £182.85 m
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