XRS Promotes Finance VP Weber, Names Him CFO

Weber succeeds Scott Christian, who abruptly resigned in June after about a year on the job; the leadership transition comes at a time when XRS is shifting away from onboard fleet-management systems and toward the use of mobile devices.

XRS Corporation, which earlier this year changed its name from Xata Corporation, announced Wednesday that it has named Michael Weber chief financial officer (CFO), an appointment that’s effective immediately.

The Eden Prairie-based software company helps trucking companies keep track of their fleets. Weber, who joined XRS five years ago, succeeds Scott Christian, who abruptly resigned on June 22 after about a year on the job. XRS provided no details about the reason for his departure.

According to XRS, Weber—whose annual base salary was just bumped up to $220,000—has 25 years of experience in finance. Prior to becoming CFO at XRS, he served as the company’s vice president of finance—a position through which he was responsible for corporate-wide financial planning and analysis, management of all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and management reporting functions, and day-to-day financial operations and process improvements. Before assuming that position in 2011, he was XRS’ director of finance and controller.

Prior to joining XRS, Weber served as director of compliance and external reporting at CNS, Inc., from 2001 to 2007 and occupied several financial roles at Schwan’s Sales Enterprises, Inc., from 1999 to 2001.

According to XRS, Weber was “instrumental in leading” two XRS acquisitions—GeoLogic Solutions, Inc., and Turnpike Global Technologies, Inc., both of which the company said boosted clients and improved the company’s position in the trucking industry.

“Mike has been an integral part of our team since he joined XRS in 2007, and he has more than demonstrated his ability to lead our company’s financial operations,” Chairman and CEO Jay Coughlan said in a statement. “His skill set will be invaluable as we transition XRS from a hardware-centric platform to our new mobile application format.”

XRS stands for Xata Road Science, and the name was driven by the company’s new mobile cloud platform—which was designed to slash costs and help fleets and drivers remain compliant with federal and state regulations. The platform is in beta testing and will be widely available next year. It will replace XRS’ two other platforms—XataNet, its onboard fleet-management system, and Turnpike, its first-generation mobile fleet-management system.

The XRS platform will run on more than 50 types of mobile devices, and it will automatically transmit vehicle and operator data to a management dashboard. Here’s how it works: A device that’s installed in the cab connects to a truck’s engine. Through Bluetooth, information about everything from vehicle speed and hard braking to fuel economy and truck location is transmitted wirelessly to the driver’s mobile phone and to a Web-based application that allows fleet managers to see it in real time; drivers can manually input other information to the application through their phones.

In July, XRS revealed in a regulatory filing that it had laid off 29 employees, a move that it said resulted from its shift toward mobile devices. As of September 30, Xata employed 210—so the cuts affected almost 14 percent of the company’s workers.

For the fiscal year that ended in September 2011, publicly traded Xata reported a net loss of $2.8 million on $63 million in revenue. The company hasn’t yet released its financial information for the fiscal year that ended last month, but for the third quarter that ended in June, it reported a $6.3 million net loss on revenue totaling $15.6 million.

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