Former Xata COO Gagne Named Winland CEO

In addition to being named chief executive, David Gagne has joined Winland Electronics’ board of directors.

David Gagne, former chief operating officer of Xata Corporation (now XRS), has been appointed CEO of Mankato-based Winland Electronics, Inc.

Winland makes monitoring systems for commercial, industrial, and residential customers. Its EnviroAlert products, for example, monitor temperature, humidity, and water levels and can activate alarms when they exceed certain limits.

Winland’s last CEO, Tom DePetra, left the company following the sale of one of its business units in 2010, according to a company spokeswoman. No one took on the CEO title in the interim.

Eden Prairie-based XRS, whose technology helps trucking companies keep track of their fleets, announced in January that Gagne would resign from his post the following month.

Winland said Monday that Gagne joined the company earlier this year as an advisor to its board. He was hired to analyze and evaluate the company’s products, competitors, sales channels, and business strategy, Winland said. In conjunction with his appointment as chief executive, Gagne also joined Winland’s board.

“Having led the project team that evaluated our business over the past four months, David joins our company with a deep understanding of our products, markets, and opportunity,” Winland Chairman Thomas Goodmanson said in a statement. “I am tremendously excited about the perspective and expertise David brings to our company as our new CEO and director.”

Gagne joined XRS in 2007 as executive vice president in charge of field operations, a role in which he oversaw sales, marketing, services, distribution, and customer support. Before that, he served as vice president of strategic development at Lawson Software, a St. Paul-based software company that was sold in 2011.

Winland is one of Minnesota’s smaller public companies based on revenue, which totaled $3.4 million in 2011; the company reported a net loss of $740,000, or 20 cents per share, in 2011—an improvement from a loss of $3.5 million, or 96 cents per share, for the previous year.