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Lightning-surge protection maker replaces its president

Kenneth A. Paladino removed as Tii Network Technologies

Kenneth A. Paladino removed as Tii Network Technologies president and chief executive. Photo Credit: Handout

The directors of Tii Network Technologies Inc., an Edgewood maker of lightning-surge protectors and network systems, have removed Kenneth Paladino, the company's chief executive and president.

Replacing him temporarily as president and chief executive, pending a search for a successor, will be the board's non-executive chairman Brian J. Kelley.

Tii, a maker of network hardware and lightning protection for telephony and broadband connections to home and businesses, disclosed the news in a Tuesday morning filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying Kelley replaced Paladino on Monday. It did not give a reason for the change.

The company's sales have sagged during the past few years of economic slowdown, as it struggled to adapt to the wireless tech revolution.

Traditionally a maker of products for copper-wire networks, it evolved, through acquisitions, into coaxial and fiber-optic technology. At one point, during the 1990s, Tii lightning protectors were installed at an estimated 75 percent of copper phone lines in U.S. homes.

In premarket trading Tuesday, Tii was down $0.01 to $1.87. Its share price is down 32.7 percent in the year so far.

With a market capitalization of $25 million and a workforce of 75, Tii had income of $3.1 million on revenue of $64.9 million in the past 12 months.

Paladino  joined the company in 2000 as chief financial officer and was promoted to chief executive in 2006.

Speaking on behalf of the board of directors, Kelley said, "We wish to thank Ken for his many contributions to the company . . . Ken was instrumental in our recent acquisitions of the Copper Products Division of Porta Systems Corp. and of Frederick Fiber Optics. We wish Ken success in his future endeavors."

Kelley, 60, joined the board in April 2008 and had been its non-executive chairman since May 2010, Tii said. He previously held board and executive positions at several technology and telephony firms.

Tii said in its SEC disclosure, "There are no arrangements or understandings between Mr. Kelley and any other person pursuant to which Mr. Kelley was selected as an officer of the company."

The disclosure continued, "there is no family relationship between Mr. Kelley and any other executive officer or director of the Company. There are no transactions to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party and in which Mr. Kelley has a direct or indirect material interest subject to disclosure" under SEC regulations.

Newsday in August reported that Tii second-quarter revenue rose 331 percent from the previous year, even as sales fell for the third straight quarter. After expenses, the business made $828,000 from almost $13.6 million in sales for the quarter ending June 30, compared to $192,000 in net income from $10.3 million in sales the previous year.

Its net income had been generally on the upswing since the May 2010 purchase of Porta Systems, a Syosset maker of telecom devices, and the March purchase of Frederick Fiber Optics in Maryland.

Photo: Kenneth Paladino, who has been removed as Tii Network Technologies president and chief executive.

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