Mitel CEO Stepping Down, New U.S. Channel Chief Named10:52 AM EST Fri. Sep. 03, 2010
Mitel CEO Don Smith will retire from the company following nine years in its top job.
Smith confirmed his departure on Mitel's first-quarter earnings call Thursday, indicating that he will stay on until his successor is named and continue as a Mitel board member after his retirement.
"It has been a privilege for me to serve with a great team over the past several years," said Smith in a statement. "I will work with the board to ensure a successful leadership transition at Mitel. The company remains focused on executing against our long-term strategic plan."
Smith returned to Mitel as CEO and a board member in April 2001. Among the major events of Smith's tenure were Mitel's acquisition of Inter-Tel in 2007, and its IPO this past April.
"We want to thank Don for his many contributions and years of service to Mitel," said Terence H. Matthews, chairman of Mitel's board, in a statement. "During his tenure, the company has grown from approximately $350 million in revenue in fiscal 2002 to $648 million in revenue in fiscal 2010 and expanded its portfolio of IP-based solutions. As we begin the search for Don's successor, I am pleased that he will remain with the company as a member of our board of directors."
VoIP-focused Mitel has seen several executive changes of late, including the mid-August departure of Richard Dell, president of Mitel U.S. Paul Butcher, Mitel's president and COO, has taken responsibility for Mitel's U.S. business following Dell's exit.
Mitel has also added to its ranks. On Friday, it named Philip Keenan as its new U.S. channel chief. Keenan, whose title is vice president of U.S. Partner Business, comes to Mitel from Nortel, where he was previously vice president of multimedia service, overseeing Nortel's telepresence and collaboration offerings. He is also a former Polycom executive, where he was senior vice president of strategy and solutions marketing and senior vice president of worldwide sales, among other positions. He reports to Butcher.
"I am delighted to make this announcement. Phil brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the company and his role will allow us to further strengthen our channel sales and development in the U.S. market," said Butcher in a statement. "As Mitel makes the transition into a software company, Phil will also play a key role in driving the continued evolution within our channel to successfully leverage this opportunity as the market continues to grow."
Mitel for its first quarter of fiscal 2011 reported $6.8 million in profit (12 cents per share), up from a $9.4 million loss it reported in the same quarter a year earlier. Quarterly revenue was $160 million, a slight gain from the $159.4 million Mitel reported a year ago Earnings were roughly in line with analyst estimates, as polled by Thomson Reuters.
The price of Mitel shares has declined significantly in the past few months, following an April 22 IPO priced far lower than expectations. At the time of the IPO, its shares were priced at $14 each -- much less than an expected range of $18 to $20 -- and raised Mitel about $147.4 million.