We keep hearing about the endless upheaval going on at Citrix, a $US3.14 billion company that sells software to enterprises to protect their mobile devices and deliver apps to remote computers.
There’s been an exodus in the executive and management ranks this year as part of a restructuring that took place in the first quarter. But, things are not calm yet. In the past couple of weeks two prominent execs have left.
And late last week, activist investor Elliott Management announced a more than 7% stake and a bunch of ideas to drive the share price up. Elliott suggests that Citrix continue its restructuring, particularly its sales force and channel partners, and spin off or sell some products that are an odd fit.
Two more executives gone
Problems at Citrix have been going on for more than a year and were supposed to have culminated with the first-quarter restructuring, which included laying off 900 people (700 employees, 200 contractors) The company announced the layoff in January and word was the pink slips went out in February.
In June these two execs left:
Catherine Courage, who was the senior vice president of Customer Experience (i.e. product design) and a member of Citrix’s executive leadership team. She left to work at DocuSign. She had been at Citrix since 2009.
Brian Dye, the GM of Citrix Mobile Platforms including its mobile management product XenMobile. He’s now at at Intel, leaving Citrix before he had been there a year.
In February, Sudhakar Ramakrishna, senior vice president of Enterprise Desktop and Mobile left Citrix as part of the restructuring, the company announced in an SEC filing. His role was handed to chief strategy officer, Geir Ramleth.
With the exit of Courage and Ramakrishna , the executive suite at the company is decidedly male and decidedly white, noted one company observer on Twitter.
Other manager who are recently gone from Citrix include:
Al Monserrat, senior vice president of worldwide sales and services since 2008 left in January. He landed as CEO of RES Software in April.
Rakesh Narasimhan, general manager of Citrix Desktop Products, who left in February.
Sunil Potti, head of products for Citrix Netscaler, who left to do that job at rising star startup Nutanix.
And this is on top of managers who left in 2014, some headed to competitor VMware.
Meanwhile, Citrix’s XenMobile product experienced other leadership changes, too. In 2013, Citrix bought Zenprise for a reported $US355 million. Amit Pandey, the CEO of Zenprise, who joined Citrix to run the unit left in March, 2014, just over a year after the deal closed. And Ahmed Datoo, VP of marketing for Zenprise/XenMobile reportedly quit at about the same time. (Datoo’s LinkedIn page says he’s mulling over his next startup.)
More to come?
Meanwhile, as we mentioned Elliott says Citrix has a lot more work to do, including trimming sales people and products like its web meetings app family, GoTo, and its application security device NetScaler.
Morgan Stanley’s Keith Weiss worries that more change could hurt the company more than help it. He wrote in a research note on Monday:
“The business has been in a constant state of upheaval, including after the most recent restructuring in 1Q15, which has resulted in poor execution and the departure of high profile executives. … We believe it is an open question as to whether yet another restructuring would not impact execution and morale further creating risk to the 4-5.5% revenue target and the associated margin/EPS goals.”
In other research notes, Credit Suisse said that management may be “compelled” to make more changes thanks to Elliott’s involvement. Piper Jaffray thinks that Citrix might now consider breaking itself into pieces, selling itself, or going private.
Citrix issued a statement about Elliott’s proposals: “We will review Elliott’s suggestions and respond as we do with all shareholders who engage with us,” and added that the “Citrix Board and management team continually evaluate ideas to drive shareholder value.”
When asked about the executive upheaval extending into June, a Citrix spokesperson told us:
It is business as usual at Citrix and there will be no disruption to customers or product innovation. We remain committed to continuously advancing our industry leading solutions, helping customers achieve business mobility. A search is underway for the Brian Dye’s position, led by Geir Ramleth, chief strategy officer and SVP and GM of Workspace Services at Citrix.