Keysight Technologies Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) said President and CEO Ron Nersesian plans to retire this spring, and the Santa Rosa-based global high-technology company plans to promote its chief operating officer into that role.
The electronics test and measurement company said Satish Dhanasekaran will step into the top executive spot when Nersesian’s retirement starts May 1. Nersesian will remain chairman of the board, which Dhanasekaran will join.
Nersesian has been with Keysight and its prececessors for over three decades. He went into the top role when Silicon Valley-based Agilent Technologies spun off the Sonoma County-based business in 2013 and took the company public in 2014. Since then, Keysight has focused on software as well as test equipment, diving deep into wireless data technologies such as 5G and 6G, and recently has rolled out solutions for developers of self-driving vehicles.
“I am incredibly proud of the exceptional results that the Keysight team has achieved for customers and shareholders,” Nersesian said in the announcement Thursday. “Looking ahead, I am even more confident in Keysight’s future prospects and ability to drive further value creation given the strength of the company’s differentiated solutions, R&D investments, sales and marketing engines, leadership team, balance sheet, and culture.”
Keysight’s revenues have increased at a 10% compound annual growth rate, while generating annualized earnings and free cash flow growth of 18% and 25%, respectively, the company said. It noted that as of the end of fiscal year 2021, Keysight’s market capitalization has increased six-fold, while delivering shareholder returns nearly four times that of the S&P 500 Index.
“I love Keysight deeply and I feel confident in its future with Satish as CEO and the exceptional leadership team and employees in place,” said Nersesian. “Through the Board’s succession planning process, Satish’s market expertise, strategic insight, and high-performance track record made him the clear choice to lead Keysight. I look forward to continuing with Keysight as Executive Chairman and working with Satish and the Board to build on Keysight’s strong momentum to create further value for all stakeholders.”
Dhanasekaran came to Keysight in 2006 and has been chief operating officer since 2020. He oversees market and technology research; development of new technologies, products and solutions; services; marketing; and sales.
Before his current role, Dhanasekaran led Keysight’s Communications Solutions Group, the company’s largest business segment. It focuses on communications tech such as wireless and wireline, as well as aerospace defense and government customers.
As the head of this business, he successfully drove order and revenue growth, expanded margins and increased its software solutions mix. At the same time, Dhanasekaran established Keysight’s leadership in 5G and made significant contributions to accelerate technology adoption in other key areas, including 400G, quantum and electromagnetic spectrum operations.
He has over 20 years of experience in the communications industry spanning business leadership, product, sales, marketing, and business development.
“I am honored that the Board has selected me to succeed Ron as Keysight’s President and CEO. Keysight’s purpose of accelerating innovation to connect and secure the world enables us to capture opportunities across our diverse set of end markets and extend our track record of strong financial performance,” said Dhanasekaran in the news release. “Keysight has a very bright future ahead, and I look forward to working with the team to execute our software-centric solutions strategy and apply the Keysight Leadership Model to deliver greater value for our customers, shareholders and employees.”