SPLK: Surprise CEO Resignation


Investors got a nasty surprise last week when President & CEO Doug Merritt (58) resigned suddenly and with minimum explanation. Chairman Graham Smith (62) is serving as Interim CEO while the Board conducts a formal search for Merritt’s replacement. We think Smith is a solid interim CEO and unusually well qualified to keep the firm’s transition to a Cloud subscription model on track, having executed on similar models as a CFO in his prior life. He has been on the Board for 10 years and is the former CFO at Salesforce.com and before that, Advent Software. The big data tech stock is down roughly 26% YTD and approaching its trailing two year lows and we wonder if the awkward leadership change might result in putting the Company in play as a strategic acquisition for one of the larger public Cloud providers.

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