Brian Kushner co-leads FTI Consulting’s Activism, Aerospace & Defense (“A&D”) and the Technology industry practices and is the founder and former leader of FTI Consulting’s Private Capital Advisory Services private equity practice. Dr. Kushner has more than 40 years of board and C-level experience that include serving as director, CEO or chief restructuring officer (“CRO”) of more than 35 public and private companies, including serving as the CEO of four telecom companies, two software companies and a defense contractor.
Dr. Kushner has led more than 50 engagements involving TMT, defense, business process outsourcing (“BPOs”) and manufacturing. These projects involved every aspect of corporate and C-suite performance and board governance, from strategy and go-to-market (“GTM”) planning, pricing and revenue enhancement, cost cutting, perpetual license to SaaS migration, enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) remediation, digital strategy and complex restructuring. He has bought or sold more than 25 companies and conducted diligence on more than 50 companies for private equity and hedge funds in financial, commercial, IT and operational diligence, revenue enhancement, cybersecurity, outsourcing, governance and selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) reduction.
Previously Dr. Kushner served as Audit Committee Chair of Thryv, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRY), a small business-focused SaaS company; Audit Committee member of Zodiac Systems, LLC, a video software engineering portfolio company of One Equity Partners (sold in June 2020); and Audit Committee Chair, Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”) formed in February 2018, which de-SPACed with Hycroft Mining in May 2020 (NASDAQ: HYMC); Remuneration Committee Chair and Audit Committee member of Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE: LXFR); Audit Committee Chair of the re-organized EveryWare Global (now The Oneida Group, formerly NASDAQ:EVRY); as Lead Director of Damovo, PLC, an ultra-high reliability systems and software company (sold to Oakley, PLC); as Managing Member/Director and interim CEO of DLN Holdings, LLC, a defense contractor; initial Chair of the Innovative Companies in the Caribbean, a multi-island cable, telecom incumbent local exchange carrier (“ILEC”) and mobile services provider (sold to ATNI); and as a Director of Headway Solutions, an IT staffing and training firm.
During the 2020 COVID lockdown, Dr. Kushner led/co-led the board oversight of the SG&A cost reductions and cash generation initiatives for the several boards, achieving savings of 3% to 10% of revenues. He was the CRO of Relativity Media, (two 363 asset sale transactions and additional sale). He served as interim CEO of DLN Holdings, an IT (cyber/cloud) and naval (ship/aerospace) engineering services contractor providing services to forward echelon U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and military bases. He was the CEO/acting Chairman of Sage Telecom, a Texas competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) which was sold to a strategic buyer in 2012. He led the turnaround of Sage from a loss to EBITDA of 18% of revenues in nine months, reducing bad debt from over 11% to about 2% and monthly churn from over 7.5% to under 4% in the same time frame, reduced contact center costs by 33% while improving quality and first call resolution. At wine.com, he settled contentious litigation, resolved regulatory issues, mitigated credit card fraud and chargeback challenges, grew revenues, led an IT systems modernization, cut costs by 20% and resolved supplier problems. As CEO at Pacific Crossing, he resolved extensive litigation and $2 billion of claims, grew sales from almost nothing in bankruptcy to more than $200 million within two years after exit, resulting in the sale of the company to NTT for $400 million. As CRO and CEO at Intira, a managed software and applications data center company focusing on SAP and web services, he brought the company to cash flow neutral in 60 days and closed a 363 sale to a strategic buyer within days after 9/11. Other operational efficiency, strategy, business plan optimization and cost reduction activities span the spectrum from telecom (e.g., XO, OneComm, Broadview), defense (e.g., Schafer Defense, HDT Global, Sequa), technology (e.g., Blackbox, Avid, MediaKind), industrial (e.g., Yellow/YRC, PSS) and hostile M&A defense (e.g., Corelogic, Qualcomm). Finally, he has been a testifying expert in over a dozen large matters, covering disputes from $250 million to more than $1.5 billion in size.
In software, Dr. Kushner is currently on the board of an embedded software applications company (segment of Resideo). He was previously on the board of a video software engineering, SaaS and app store development company (Zodiac Systems); on the board of a local business automation SaaS company (Thryv); served as CEO and board member of a defense IT services and cyber security company (DLN Holdings); and on the board of an ultrahigh reliability SaaS software and systems developer (Damovo), where he worked with management to migrate residual perpetual licenses to enterprise and SaaS structures. He has advised more than a dozen software companies and private equity funds conducting diligence on software companies, covering all facets of software engineering, design and migration from perpetual licenses to SaaS situations. As Chair of the Audit Committee for these and other companies, he has also overseen legacy IT system consolidation and migration projects and multiple ERP system implementations, including the remediation of three failed ERP implementations. In addition to his work for DARPA prior to 2000, he also advised several government agencies on cybersecurity and developed a small team of hackers for certain DoD related agencies.
Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Dr. Kushner co-founded CXO, L.L.C., which was acquired by FTI Consulting in 2008. He began his career at BDM International, a defense firm, where after 10 years, he was Chief Scientist/CIO leading Advanced Technology, IT, turnarounds and all DARPA business. Dr. Kushner was the December 2014 Commencement Speaker for the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences and in 2018 he was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin’s Hall of Honor. He was the 1997 recipient of KPMG’s Information, Communications and Entertainment “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in Austin for Industry Leadership in Entrepreneurial Companies of Less Than 200 Employees.
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