Smart Rifle Maker TrackingPoint Reopens after 4-month Shutdown
OutdoorHub Reporters 09.17.15
Texas-based “smart rifle” manufacturer TrackingPoint announced this week that the company is back in business after suspending operations for nearly four months.
Back in May, the company shut down production due to what it claimed were “financial difficulties.” With the layoff of many key employees in 2014, customers feared that TrackingPoint was on its last legs. However, the company announced on Tuesday that it has successfully emerged from a financial and operational restructuring. TrackingPoint’s founding team of John Lupher and John McHale will return to their original roles—Lupher as Vice President of Engineering and McHale as CEO—and former CEO Frank Bruno will transition to Chief Operation Officer.
“We were successful early on, so John Lupher and I decided to go back to our roots and take TrackingPoint to the next level,” said McHale. “This is a new beginning for TrackingPoint. We will focus intently on the consumer, continue to innovate, and operate in a way that ensures long term success.”
To that end, the company has slimmed down to only a fraction of its former size. McHale told the Austin Business Journal that TrackingPoint went from 105 employees this January to just 10 now. McHale expects to hire an additional 10 employees in the near future but says that the company will be operating at a smaller scale.
You can learn more about TrackingPoint in the video below:
“It feels great to be back,” McHale said. “Our customers are calling, and I’ve gotten emails that they’re really happy to have pulled this off.”
What about the company’s long backlog of orders? TrackingPoint said it will be working to fulfill all of those orders, as well as take on new ones, despite its vastly smaller workforce. The company will also be more focused on pursuing military and law enforcement applications for their products. Former Navy SEAL and Commander of the US Special Operations Forces, Admiral Eric Olson, will be leading TrackingPoint on these directives as a chairman on the company’s board of directors.
“I’m glad to see TrackingPoint moving forward with renewed focus on law enforcement and the military. This is innovation at its best, with a real and meaningful purpose for security forces and war fighters,” Olson said.
However, that does not mean that TrackingPoint will abandon its current customer base. McHale said the the company will move forward to provide products for both hunters and tactical shooters. It is likely that the company will offer fewer product lines and focus on semiautomatic rifles as opposed to the bolt-action rifles TrackingPoint started with.
McHale also addressed the security of TrackingPoint’s software, which was allegedly proven to be vulnerable after two researchers discovered that hackers could remotely access and tinker with TrackingPoint weapons. McHale stated that the software will be updated to address these issues.