Vertigo Group back up and running; Gleeson confirmed as CEO

October 27, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Toronto-based Vertigo Group has indeed been rescued from its demise, the official word coming down in a press release about a new entity called Vertigo Digital Displays.

As expected, founders Ralph Idems and Chris Bolton are back as COO and CTO respectively and industry veteran Brad Gleeson will be the company’s CEO and President.

The new wrinkle is the deal with Taiwanese LCD material supplier Chi Lin Technology, which is described as a strategic investor along with management consultants TargetPath, the Portland, OR company run by Gleeson and partner Scott Hix.

The Chi Lin connection is intriguing, as this is a company that has started to pop up at trade shows in the past year but is still relatively unknown. It would be hard to out-market Samsung and LG for conventional monitor sales in this sector, but focusing on integrated outdoor displays is a nice, potentially very high volume market to go after if you are a vertically integrated LCD panel maker and have good enclosure engineering behind it (as in Vertigo). 

The presser: 

October 27, 2009 –TargetPath LLC founding partners Brad Gleeson and Scott Hix, in partnership with Chilin Technology, today announced a new company, Vertigo Digital Displays, which has acquired the digital division assets of Vertigo Group based in Toronto, Canada.

The focus for Vertigo Digital Displays is on the continued development of advanced, engineered outdoor LCD display solutions first developed by Vertigo Group for the most sophisticated outdoor digital signage applications. Vertigo customers and projects include Titan Outdoor  Chicago Rail project, Lamar’s Vancouver Rail Project, and Astral Media’s “Info-to-go” digital wayfinding pillars. Vertigo has over 10,000 advertising displays installed around the world with over 1000 of these digital. Vertigo was the first to introduce upgradeable displays that effectively enabled their customers to upgrade products as new display technologies emerge.

Managing the new company operations will be Ralph Idems (COO) and Chris Bolton (CTO), along with digital signage industry veteran Brad Gleeson, who will serve as the new company’s President and CEO.

“We are pleased and excited to be able to continue the development and delivery of the advanced display solutions first pioneered by Vertigo Group, under this newly-founded company,” said Brad Gleeson, CEO, Vertigo Digital Displays. “We have known Ralph and Chris for several years and have tremendous respect for the products and business they have built. With much of the original team returning, and with the support and encouragement of the previous company’s customers and suppliers, as well as our strategic investors at Chilin Technology and TargetPath, we are extremely confident in the future prospects for Vertigo Digital Displays.”

Vertigo Digital Displays’ products include the successful Vertigo Universal Outdoor Display, which is the integrated outdoor display deployed on Chicago commuter train rail platforms. Consisting of a modular design for ease of service and maintenance, and Vertigo’s revolutionary Environmental Control Unit providing reliable low power outdoor performance, the Vertigo Universal Outdoor Display is the first digital signage solution of its type to offer modular configuration designed specifically for deployment in harsh environments. The Universal Outdoor Display is available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, is rated for temperatures from -20C to +50C and is IP65-rated for exposure to rain and harsh weather. 

As mentioned previously, and sincerely, Idems and Bolton are two of the good guys in the business who also happened to do good work. But they ran smack into a recession that slowed the OOH business right down at just the wrong time.

Surprisingly, I have never met Gleeson but have always heard very good things. Looks like a nice match-up.

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