Christopher Cobb

Christopher Cobb

Executive Profile

I am an experienced business executive who enjoys building emerging companies into market leaders.  For me the action is better when you are closer to the customer and can exert greater influence on critical strategic decisions.  Whether as CEO or part of senior management,  I have a strong interest in building another great company recognized for its excellent long-term profitability, lazar customer focus, quality brand reputation and innovative professional team. 

After beginning my career with Ernst & Young, I wanted to play a more active role in managing companies. Following a brief stint in private equity, I joined Sonitrol as Chief Financial Officer in 1983, was named VP Marketing in 1986, Chief Operating Officer in 1988, and Chief Executive from 1993.  Over two decades, our team and our partners grew the business tenfold (10x) making it the world leader in verified security under three corporate owners.

Following the company's sale in 2004 to a private equity group, I have pursued several lifelong interests while advising startup and development stage companies.  This period has given me fresh perspectives which I am anxious to apply to my next assignment.

Work History

Work History
Dec 2004 - Present

President and Owner

Woodcrest Investments

Investment and advisory services to emerging businesses while looking for next management opportunity.

Apr 2004 - Nov 2004

Consultant

Tyco International ADT Security

Consultant on sale and operational transition of three Sonitrol businesses to new ownership group led by Spire Capital, The Carlyle Group and Wachovia.

  • Assignment completed successfully in November 2004
  • Two year non-compete expired in October 2006.
Mar 1983 - Mar 2004

Chief Executive Officer

http://www.sonitrol.com

Sonitrol is the world leader in verified security providing high quality integrated solutions to 130,000 commercial, institutional and residential customers in the US and Canada. My responsibilities included leading three operating companies with 500+ employees and a franchise system with $250M in combined system wide revenues. I held positions as Marketing VP, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer before taking over as CEO in 1993.

  • Assumed control of $8M company with CEO in 1984 losing $1M, growing it to $38M with $6M in profits by 1992
  • Following spinoff of manufacturing business, was appointed CEO of franchisor and company-owned operations in 1993, and with new management team tripled revenues to $80M and quadrupled profits to $14M during next ten years
  • Achieved consistent top and bottom line growth while managing under three corporate owners
  • Focusing on verified technology and innovative customer guarantees, we consistently led industry with highest customer retention rates 
  • Initiated web-based solution in 2000 enabling national customers to view system status, alarm and access activity, and video feeds 24/7 at all facilities
  • Led acquisition and integration of 50 franchise and distributor businesses improving profit margins by 20%
Oct 1982 - Sep 1984

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Old Port Company

A small private equity firm with investments in software, publishing, medical technology, telecommunications, real estate and security companies. My responsibilities included working with portfolio companies and financial management.

  • Assisted CEO with valuation and strategic evaluation of portfolio companies
  • Negotiated sale of non-core investments to reduce leverage and concentrate on high potential companies
  • Management involvement in security and real estate investee companies
Jan 1974 - Sep 1982

Senior Manager

Ernst & Young

A global leader providing assurance, tax and advisory services. My experience included providing audit, tax and consulting services to clients in financial, real estate, commercial, government and non-profit industry groups.

  • Received Presidential Commendation for work with National Alliance of Business 1977 - 1978 under Carter Administration

Education

Education
1969 - 1973

Bachelor of Sciences

Certifications

Certifications
1976 - 1988

Certified Public Accountant

State of Virginia
1978 - 1982

Chartered Bank Auditor

Bank Administration Institute