Equinix CEO Steve Smith has resigned suddenly after “exercising poor judgment with respect to an employee matter,” the company said today. The Equinix board said it accepted Smith’s resignation “in the best interests of the company,” and appointed Executive Chairman Peter Van Camp as interim CEO, effective immediately.
Equinix provided no details on the circumstances that prompted Smith to offer his resignation, and said it would commence a formal process to appoint a new CEO.
Smith became CEO in 2007, coming to Equinix from HP, where he had served as president of HP’s professional services business. He led the company through a massive global expansion in which the company added data centers through new construction as well as a series of acquisitions, including deals for Switch & Data, Telecity Group and a portfolio of data centers from Verizon.
Equinix shares stood around $81 when Smith was hired, and closed today at $439.17. In after-hours trading following the announcement of Smith’s resignation, shares of Equinix were about 2.7 percent lower.
Van Camp has been with Equinix in key roles for more than 17 years, serving as CEO for seven years (2000 to 2007). Since 2007, he has served as executive chairman of the Equinix Board of Directors.
In 2002, Van Camp oversaw a complex transaction that integrated Equinix with Pihana Pacific and i-STT, stabilizing the young company during the dot-com meltdown and creating the nucleus of the modern “Platform Equinix.”Equinix emphasized that as executive chairman, Van Camp has “remained highly engaged in the day-to-day business and has played an active role in every major decision the company has made.”
“The Board gave this matter the deepest consideration and recognizes the many contributions Steve made over the past eleven years to achieve the global scale, reach and market leadership the company enjoys today,” said Van Camp. “He has worked hard to grow and sustain the business, and we greatly appreciate his efforts. I also want to emphasize that this action was not related to the company’s operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong. The Board and leadership team remain fully committed to the strategy.”
“The company is well-positioned strategically, with tremendous depth at the leadership level and a passionate team that will guide the business and continue to drive the performance of the company,” Van Camp added. “With our 2018 strategy and plan securely in place, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the role Equinix plays in helping companies evolve from their traditional business practices to the digital world by globally interconnecting with the people, locations, cloud services and data critical to their operations.”