Why Odouard accepted CEO role at Xtek

Philippe Odouard

Xtek chief executive Philippe Odouard – who took up the reins of the ASX-listed homeland security equipment provider in October last year – has pinpointed some of the core reasons he decided to accept the position.

Speaking to Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant, Odouard said a combination of motives had driven his move to head up Xtek.

"First of all, it was defence related, so that's something I understand," he said. "Secondly, it was [a listed company], it was something I understand very well as well."

Odouard described that his experience at Bankstown-based manufacturer of advanced carbon fibre composites Quickstep meant he was well versed in the business imperatives around capital raising initiatives and maintaining a different approach to shareholders.

"But what really attracted me is the fact that the company had real products that were ready to be commercialised," he emphasised. "Getting the right product fully ready to be commercialised can take years and I learned it in Quickstep.

"It took us several years before the first product made with the new system was actually sufficiently advanced [to] basically put a machine onto the factory floor of someone else."

By contrast, Odouard said Xtek offered a product portfolio that was fully ready to be commercialised.

"It was sort of a gem; some of them were actually already in the inventory in Australia [while] others were really very advanced in terms of maturity and ready to go onto an international market," he said.

Initially, Odouard provided Xtek with advice on international commercialisation in his capacity as a non-executive director.

"When I dug a bit more, it became obvious that the company had incredible products and potential, and when the CEO actually left I was offered the position and took it because it was really exciting," he said.

To hear more from Odouard, listen to our podcast here.

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