Veteran Exec Kevin Hell, former DivX Head, Named On-Ramp Wireless CEO

After raising at least $44 million in venture capital and demonstrating its wireless networking technology in smart grid field trials, San Diego’s On-Ramp Wireless is ready to significantly expand and diversify its operations. As part of that move, the company today named veteran executive Kevin Hell as president and CEO.

His appointment takes effect today. Hell, 48, was previously the CEO of San Diego-based DivX, the video codec developer. During his eight-year reign at DivX, Hell expanded and diversified the company’s licensing business, negotiated deals with major Hollywood studios, and made two successful acquisitions. He also oversaw the 2010 sale of DivX to Novato, CA-based Sonic Solutions in a deal valued at $323 million—just months before Santa Clara, CA-based Rovi acquired the combined Sonic-DivX business for about $720 million.

After the sale of DivX, Hell took on a key role for CommNexus, San Diego’s nonprofit technology industry group, overseeing an expansion of its free EvoNexus program that more than doubled the size of San Diego’s free startup incubator. Hell stepped out as the incubator’s part-time chairman earlier this year, after CommNexus had established a second EvoNexus facility for Web and mobile app startups in downtown San Diego.

Joaquin Silva, who founded On-Ramp Wireless in 2008, will remain to assist with Kevin’s transition and take on other duties. In an e-mail this morning, Silva writes, “My plan is to stay with the company and run corporate development and business development, partnerships.” The company raised $10.1 million in June, and was working to raise another $10 million to $20 million by the end of the year.

Under Silva, On-Ramp developed its Ultra-Link Processing system, an M2M wireless networking technology that can … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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