Frank M. Drendel 2017 Bresnan Award Honoree
Chairman of the Board and Founder
Frank M. Drendel is chairman of the board of CommScope and company founder. Mr. Drendel served as the company’s chief executive officer from his founding of the company in 1976 as a North Carolina corporation based in Hickory until the acquisition of CommScope by The Carlyle Group in January 2011 that took the company private. He has served as chairman since 1997, when CommScope was spun-off from General Instrument Corporation (subsequently renamed General Semiconductor, Inc.) and became an independent, publicly-traded company on the NYSE.
Mr. Drendel’s entrepreneurial drive and business vision led to his acquiring a struggling cable product line called Comm/Scope from his then-employer, Superior Continental, and launching a stand-alone company in 1976. This same drive and vision has guided CommScope for nearly four decades—under Mr. Drendel’s leadership, CommScope has grown to be a multi-billion dollar global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, with a whos-who roster of customers that spans the globe. Through organic growth and the transformational acquisitions of Avaya Connectivity Solutions in 2004, Andrew Corporation in 2007, and TE Broadband Network Solutions in 2015, the company under Mr. Drendel established leadership positions in key markets—wireless, business enterprise, telecom and cable television/residential broadband—that continue today.
While at CommScope, Mr. Drendel also served as a director of GI Delaware, a subsidiary of General Instrument Corporation, and its predecessors from 1987 to 1992, a director of General Instrument Corporation from 1992 until 1997, and a director of NextLevel Systems, Inc. (which was renamed General Instrument Corporation) from 1997 until January 2000. Prior to his founding of the company, Mr. Drendel held various positions within the Comm/Scope division of Superior Continental from 1971 to 1976.
Mr. Drendel is a director of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the principal trade association of the cable industry in the United States, and the SCTE Executive Council. Mr. Drendel previously served as a director of Sprint Nextel Corporation from 2005 to 2008 and as a director of Nextel Communications, Inc. from 1997 to 2005. He also served on the board of directors for Tyco International, Ltd., The Cable Center and C-SPAN.
An active member of several National Cable & Telecommunications Association committees, Mr. Drendel has been a recipient of various NCTA awards, including the Challenger Award, Associates Award and the President’s Award. In addition, Mr. Drendel has received numerous prestigious honors for his contributions to the industry, including:
- Induction into the Cable Center Hall of Fame, the cable television industry’s highest honor, in 2002.
- An Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development in 1985 for his and M/A-Com Corporation’s (of which CommScope was a subsidiary) contribution to anti-pirating satellite TV encryption and scrambling technology.
- The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award given by the State of North Carolina, in 1999.
- The 2013 North Carolina Technology Association Outstanding Achievement Award.
Mr. Drendel graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and has been a mentor and leader in the cable television and telecommunications industry during his entire career.