The business now formerly known as Emerson Network Power has announced the appointment of Rob Johnson as CEO and officially commenced a campaign to rebrand the standalone company as Vertiv.
Vertiv is a global provider of mission-critical infrastructure technologies for vital applications in data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments. The company, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio (USA), has more than 20,000 employees and more than 25 manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide.
Platinum Equity acquired the business today from Emerson in a transaction valued in excess of $4 billion. Emerson also retained a minority interest in the company.
Johnson, most recently an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, spent 10 years at American Power Conversion (APC), a leader in data center infrastructure. He was President and CEO of APC when the company was sold to Schneider Electric for $6.1 billion in 2007. While at APC he also served as General Manager of the company’s Availability Enhancement Group.
Bryan Kelln, partner and president of portfolio operations at Platinum Equity, said Johnson’s leadership skills and technical expertise make him a perfect fit to lead Vertiv.
“Rob has a unique blend of industry knowledge, operational acumen and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Kelln. “This is a transformational opportunity for the company and we believe Rob is the right leader to grow the business as we establish a culture focused on speed, innovation and customer service.”
In addition to his career at APC, Johnson has worked in executive positions at Consolidated Container Corporation, a provider of rigid plastic packaging solutions.
In 1989, Johnson founded Systems Enhancement Corporation (SEC), a company that created innovative software and hardware solutions for the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) industry. He sold the company to APC in 1997.
“Rob knows the technology inside out, especially in data center environments, and understands what customers need,” added Kelln. “He knows what it takes as a CEO to inspire employees and lead a profitable, global enterprise. He’s also an innovator who shares our vision for what Vertiv can become as a standalone business.”
Johnson said the transition to new ownership provides a unique opportunity for the company.
“It’s a fresh start for a business that already has so much going for it. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at Vertiv as we begin this transformational chapter in the company’s history,” said Johnson. “As an independent company, Vertiv will operate with great freedom to make business strategy and investment decisions, move more quickly like a startup, and focus on innovative solutions for our customers, including those in the growing cloud computing, mobile and IoT networks.”
Vertiv will build on the broad portfolio of product and service offerings for power, thermal and IT management capabilities it previously offered as Emerson Network Power, including its industry-leading flagship brands ASCO®, Chloride®, Liebert®, NetSure™ and Trellis™.
Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said that Platinum Equity’s M&A and operational resources, and the firm’s strong relationship with Emerson, will benefit Vertiv in the short and long term.
“We will support Vertiv’s growth and product innovation every step of the way, both organically and through prospective add-on acquisitions,” said Kotzubei. “This is our second partnership with Emerson and we have had great success together. We look forward to a seamless transition and an exciting future for Vertiv and the customers it serves.”
In November 2013 Platinum Equity acquired a controlling stake in Emerson’s embedded computing and power business, which was later rebranded Artesyn Embedded Technologies.