Five9 Stock Plummets As CEO Rowan Trollope Set To Leave For Startup

News of the pending departure of Rowan Trollope, the company’s CEO for more than four years, sent the CCaaS provider’s stock tumbling on Monday as Five9’s former CEO, Mike Burkland, announced plans to resume his role.


Cloud contact center software provider Five9 on Monday announced a leadership transition that sent its stock tumbling.

Rowan Trollope, the company’s CEO since 2018 that almost shepherded the company through a major acquisition that ultimately fell apart, is leaving to become CEO of a venture-backed pre-IPO startup. In his wake, Five9’s longtime chairman and former CEO, Mike Burkland, will pick back up the mantel as CEO, effective Nov. 28, according to the company.

Burkland resigned from his position as CEO of Five9 in 2017 when he was diagnosed with cancer.

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Five9’s shares fell 23 percent on Monday after Trollope announced his resignation on Twitter and in a statement.

[Related: Cloud Contact Center And UCaaS: Better Together Or Best Of Breed?]

Video conferencing giant Zoom in 2021 agreed to acquire Five9 for its cloud contact center chops in an all-stock purchase valued at $14.7 billion in what would have been the biggest acquisition for Zoom yet. Five9 shareholders, however, were not satisfied with the small premium that Zoom was set to pay, and the deal was rejected in October 2021.

Trollope joined Five9 in 2018 as CEO from Cisco Systems where he served as senior vice president and general manager of applications, as well as the tech giant’s head of the Internet of Things business.

Trollope did not name the startup he’ll be leading, but that the emerging company, unlike Five9, is not in the contact center as-a-service (CCaaS) space.

The executive said he remains “bullish” on Five9. “I’d like to say a special thank you to the tremendous team here [at Five9] -- pioneers work incredibly hard to lead the industry and set the pace for innovation and growth in the cloud. It has been an honor and privilege to serve our employees, our customers and our shareholders as we’ve quadrupled revenue and accelerated our growth rate,” Trollope said on Twitter on Monday.

Burkland, the company’s current chairman and incoming CEO, said he was “thrilled” to resume his leadership role in a statement published Monday. “When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, I resigned from the CEO post to focus on my health, while remaining very close to the business as Chairman. Now, following successful treatments, I am pleased to report that my doctors have given me a favorable long-term prognosis. I’m so excited to get ‘back on the field’ with the Five9 team, which is a special, tight-knit group working passionately on the important mission of enabling our clients to reimagine their customer experience.”

The returning CEO said that that the industry is still in the early innings of the shift to the cloud, which is being driven by trends such as digital transformation and the focus on customer experience.

“I believe Five9 is very well positioned in this massive market as we continue to execute on product innovation, our march up market and international expansion. I would like to thank [Trollope] for his outstanding leadership over these last four and a half years.”