Alex Mashinsky

Alex Mashinsky

Novatel Wireless Inc. fired CEO Alex Mashinsky on Oct. 27, the company said Oct. 28.

Sue Swenson, chairwoman of the board and a longtime member of San Diego’s telecom industry, will take the CEO’s job.

The 50-year-old Mashinsky had almost come to the end of his first year as permanent CEO.

Mashinsky will also have to relinquish his seat on the board of directors under the terms of his employment agreement, Novatel (Nasdaq: MIFI) said in a press release.

Novatel is best known for its Mi-Fi wireless hot spot product. It wants to be a major player in technology for the Internet of Things.

Mashinsky was one of a group of activist shareholders who, in the spring of 2014, said the company could be run better. At the time, Novatel had accumulated several years of losses.

The New Yorker was appointed to the board in April 2014, replaced CEO Peter Leparulo on an interim basis in June of that year and was named permanent CEO in November.

In the end, however, he was unable to make the company profitable.

Novatel plans to report the results of its latest quarter on Nov. 5.

Mashinsky shook up the executive suite by firing several people in the middle of 2014.

“I’m worried I’m making too many changes too fast,” he said in a December interview, but he added he felt the company needed the change.

During his time in charge, Novatel acquired South Africa-based DigiCore Holdings Ltd. for $87 million. The San Diego company completed the acquisition on Oct. 5.

With a record of starting seven companies, Mashinsky seems to have options in the business world.

Swenson looked ahead.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to guide Novatel Wireless as we emerge from a period of transition and focus our sights on global IoT opportunities and driving shareholder value,” she said in a prepared statement.

“I am confident we have the people, assets and operational alignment necessary to achieve growth with our higher margin software and SaaS offerings, including the fleet and vehicle telematics offerings from our recently acquired DigiCore operations and its 325,000 Ctrack subscribers.”