Bob Schacherl, who was president and founding partner of the Austin, TX-based High End Systems for nearly a quarter of a century until his departure in December of last year, has joined the Dallas-based Vari-Lite International as vice president of sales and marketing. He replaces Ken Matthews, and will handle the sales and marketing efforts for new Vari*Lite luminaires and consoles.

“We’re excited to have Bob as part of the Vari-Lite team,” says Clay Powers, president and COO of Vari-Lite. “Bob’s knowledge and experience will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goal of making Vari*Lite the preferred brand in automated lighting technology.”

Both companies, rival automated lighting manufacturers, were involved in a protracted patent infringement lawsuit filed by Vari-Lite in the mid-90s. The suit was eventually settled out of court in late 1998.

Schacherl's first day on the job was Wednesday, July 11.