Comtech Telecommunications said it had “terminated” CEO and president Ken A....

Comtech Telecommunications said it had “terminated” CEO and president Ken A. Peterman. Credit: Comtech

A Melville-based telecommunications company has fired its top executive without publicly saying why.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp., in a securities filing, said it had “terminated” CEO and president Ken A. Peterman “for conduct unrelated to [the company’s] business strategy, financial results or previously filed financial statements.”

Peterman, who had been with Comtech since 2022, was also removed as chairman of the board of directors.

The new board chairman, Mark Quinlan, said in a statement last week that “the board is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.”

Peterman couldn’t be reached for comment and a Comtech representative declined to comment.

Comtech’s interim CEO, John Ratigan, didn’t mention Peterman in a conference call on Monday to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings. Until last week, Ratigan has been chief corporate development officer.

Michael Bondi, the chief financial officer, also didn’t refer to Peterman by name but said Peterman’s removal “had interrupted the momentum gained with respect to our refinancing efforts” for a credit facility due in October.

Neither executive took questions from the audience of investors and stock analysts.

Comtech makes satellite base stations and next-generation 911 systems for municipalities and the military.

Peterman, 66, received $5 million in salary, bonus and stock awards for the fiscal year ended July 31, according to securities filings.

He was appointed to the Comtech board in May 2022, then was elected chairman and became CEO and president. Previously, he had served as president of Viasat Inc.’s Government Systems division, which provides telecommunications equipment to the military.

Peterman’s 19 months in Comtech’s corner office follows the seven-month tenure of Michael Porcelain. Porcelain succeeded Fred Kornberg, who led the company from 1976 to 2022.

Kornberg was ousted after a protracted proxy battle in 2021 with institutional investor Outerbridge Capital Management LLC. In a settlement, Outerbridge won a board seat and Porcelain, then the chief operating officer, was promoted.

On Monday, Comtech said it lost $12 million in the six months ended Jan. 31 compared with a loss of $16 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales totaled $286 million compared with $265 million.

The company's shares closed at $3.43 on Tuesday, down 25%.

Comtech had 1,718 employees as of July 31, including 384 at offices overseas, according to a filing.

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