11.07.12

AutoPatch founder Alan B. Hale passes

After a long battle with cancer, it was with sadness the family shared news of the passing of Alan B. Hale, founder of AutoPatch, at age 76.

Hale was a professor of computer sciences at Eastern Washington University (EWU) when he started XN Technologies, Inc. (XN) in 1989 to market technologies developed as part of a joint EWU/NASA project.

AutoPatch, which began as a sideline project, quickly became the primary product for the fledgling company based in Cheney, Wash.  Known for its innovative lines of high-performance modular matrix switchers, AutoPatch sales quickly penetrated markets in 46 countries.  In 2006, AMX purchased XN (AutoPatch) and continues advancement of switching technology – chiefly focused on A/V distribution over IT networks – from XN’s original location.

 “My father was an inspiration to so many people,” said Phil Hale, fourth of Hale’s seven children and President and CEO of Presentation Switchers.  “His leadership style proved that business could be profitable and at the same time fun and engaging for employees.  He earned the affection and loyalty of his employees, colleagues at EWU, and throughout the community through his kindness, generosity and compassion.”

Commenting on the loss, Rashid Skaf, President and CEO of AMX said, “All who knew Al at AMX regret the news of his passing.  Al was a talented and successful businessman … and a fine person.  AMX is proud and fortunate to have been able to add AutoPatch to its family of companies, which has since become an important part of our company.  We offer our sincerest condolences to his family.”

Few knew that Hale had been an Air Force test pilot who worked for Chuck Yeager during the ‘Right Stuff’ era.  He was a decorated Vietnam-era fighter pilot flying the famed A-1E Skyraider ‘Sandys’, which provided close-air support for helicopters rescuing downed pilots. He earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal (first through fifth oak leaf clusters).”