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Key exec at Comtech has 'departed'

Melville-based Comtech Communications Corp. has won a $38-million

Melville-based Comtech Communications Corp. has won a $38-million contract for a small U.S. Navy spacecraft that will map the stars. Credit: Handout

In the latest in a series of changes at Melville-based satellite technology maker Comtech Telecommunications Corp.,  the company said the president of one of its major subsidiaries has "departed" but gave no further explanation.

The changes have come after Comtech lost key U.S. Army contracts for blue force tracking systems -- friend-or-foe battlefield surveillance -- and as it faces pressure from activist shareholder MMI Investments.

The company issued a detailed statement Monday morning about new leadership for the subsidiary, Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp.

But it had only a terse reference to the man who had led the subsidiary for the past six years, saying "Comtech also announced that Daniel Wood, who previously served as president of CMDC since 2005, has departed from Comtech."

In premarket trading, Comtech was up $0.08 to $32.15.

The subsidiary's new president is Paul Lithgow, who is taking on the duties while continuing to serve as president of a separate subsidiary, Comtech AeroAstro Inc.

"Mr. Lithgow has over 30 years of experience in the aerospace and telecommunications industries with leadership roles, prior to joining Comtech, at Radyne, General Dynamics and Spectrum Astro, as well as a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force," Comtech said.

Comtech chief executive Fred Kornberg said, "As president of both CMDC and AeroAstro, Paul is the perfect candidate to further reposition our mobile data communications segment."

The company reported that for its most recent fiscal year, ending July 31, it had a sharp drop in net sales to $612.3 million compared to $778.2 million in the prior-year quarter. It said the drop was due to the company's loss of the contract for a U.S. Defense Department blue-force tracking system. Comtech's net income for the year was $67.8 million, up from $60.6 million the previous year.

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