Axon, the Scottsdale company that makes the Taser and other technologies for public safety, has big plans for 2022, including a hiring effort that could add 1,200 people to the company’s global workforce.
Axon Enterprise (Nasdaq: AXON) plans to hire at least 400 people in Scottsdale, including a slew of new software engineers, said Elizabeth Hart, senior vice president of people operations at Axon.
“Our SaaS [software-as-a-service] platforms are still relatively new, a lot of our current clients are being upsold on to our full product suite … records management systems and dispatch systems as well as our VR products,” she said. “So being able to bring those engineers and land that talent is key.”
Axon is famous for selling the Taser to law enforcement agencies around the world, but in recent years that company has diversified into selling software subscriptions too; Axon Evidence helps organize photos and videos captured on Axon cameras, Axon Respond is a dispatch service and Attorney Premier, announced late last year, helps manage digital evidence.
These software offerings are still developing a foothold in the market and Axon’s physical products continue to bring in the bulk of its revenue; Taser products accounted for about half of all sales last year ($426 million), followed by software and sensor services that added $244 million in sales.
Axon currently employs 2,000 people, plus an additional 500 contractors, so adding 1,200 more this year is a significant increase. In addition to the software developers, Hart said Axon is also looking for staff in sales, manufacturing and other office roles.
Luke Larson, president at Axon, told the Business Journal that the company is now a remote-first employer and that its mission of making the bullet obsolete is appealing to many people.
“The whole world is kind of adjusting to really like a once in a century type shift in the way people work,” he said. “Axon is very, very innovative and flexible in the way that we do things and we embraced remote work off the start. … As we look to the future, I think that we’re going to be really well positioned to be a great talent magnet.”
A billion dollar year?
Axon is coming off a strong year in 2021 which saw the company bring in $863 million in revenue, up 27% from the year prior; Though, the company reported running a net loss of $60 million on the year. Track the stock here.
For the coming year, the company projects that it will make $1 billion in revenue this year, which would be a record, Larson said.
“We’re very confident we’re going to hit that billion mark this year, and that’s a huge testament to our customer facing sales teams,” he said. “We’re really, really proud of what we built right here in Arizona.”
Axon is also planning on building out what Larson called the company’s global campus in Scottsdale with an $85 million project that will consolidate multiple facilities and add a new, automated manufacturing line.
Axon is based at 17800 North 85th Street in Scottsdale and the new building will be built across the street. Larson said they plan on breaking ground in the coming months and that it will take two or three years before the new building is complete.
Larson, a former Marine, said he has seen the Taser up close and personal, several times.
“I’ve been hit with a Taser seven times. And the last time I got hit with a Taser is when our Axon business surpassed our Taser business in bookings,” he said. “Sometime in the future, we’re going to launch a new Taser. I’ll take a hit from that device, and I think that that would be the last one.”
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