Hapner quietly exits Beacon Technologies
By Milt Capps
Beacon Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Bill Hapner is out of the firm. Reached for comment March 22, Hapner said his departure resulted from his views of the company's "future direction" diverging from those of initial lead investor Charles Blankenship. Other owners include Joe Maxwell, who a year ago sold Investment Scorecard for $50 million to Informa Investment Solutions. Blankenship had long been an owner and officer of Scorecard. Beacon President Bill Muir confirmed Hapner's departure, adding only that he is "not able to comment" on the circumstances of the split. He said the CEO title has been shelved. Hapner, 41, said that after his noncompete agreement with Beacon ends in May, he believes he will join another technology company, possibly a new entrant to the Nashville market. In 2003 and 2004, Beacon made Inc. Magazine's annual "fastest-growing" list, and by 2004 was generating about $12 million in yearly revenue. Inc. said in the years 1998-2003, Beacon logged five-year growth of 960 percent. In an interview four years ago, Hapner told a reporter he thought Beacon could reach $25 million in revenue by 2006. Hapner said Saturday that Beacon's 2006 revenue was ultimately closer to $19 million. In that same interview, Hapner expressed gratitude for Blankenship's role as lead investor. Hapner is credited with integrating Internet Protocol technology across all its lines of Beacon's business, including voice and data cabling and infrastructure; training; network development and management; telephony; information technology; audio-visual systems; and, security. Muir joined Beacon in 2006 as chief operating officer. He previously served with Dell Inc. and with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He holds twin master's degrees in business and operations from the University of Michigan, and spent five years as a U.S. Marine following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. Beacon recently relocated and downsized its headquarters from 15,000 to 8,000 square feet.