CyrusOne President and CEO Gary Wojtaszek has resigned suddenly, a step taken “by mutual agreement with the board,” the company said today.
Industry veteran Tesh Durvasula has been named to serve as President and CEO on an interim basis while the board conducts a search for a new CEO, with Durvasula among the candidates.
The company’s announcement provided no details on the timing of Wojtaszek’s departure, or the change in assignment for Durvasula, who served as CyrusOne’s Chief Commercial Officer and President of Europe before CyrusOne announced in January that he would depart the company. At the time, CyrusOne said that it was “mutually agreed” that Durvasula would leave to pursue other interests.
Shares of CyrusOne are up nearly 3 percent in early afternoon trading on the NASDAQ. Wojtaszek’s departure will be effective upon the filing of the company’s SEC form 10-K for 2019.
The sudden change comes a week after renewed media reports that CyrusOne has received takeover offers. Shares of CyrusOne rallied last year after similar media reports, but Wojtaszek later indicated that the company was not actively pursuing a sale.
In an earnings call with securities analysts Thursday morning, the company declined to provide any additional details on Wojtaszek’s departure. When an analyst inquired about the media reports of new suitors, Chief Financial Officer Diane Morefield said that “we don’t comment on market speculation and rumors.”
In announcing the change, the board hailed Durvasula’s experience and familiarity with CyrusOne.
“Tesh is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in fiber optics, interconnection and data centers,” said Alex Shumate, Chairman of the Board for CyrusOne, in a prepared statement. “During his more than 7 years at CyrusOne, including serving as Chief Commercial Officer and his most recent role as President of Europe, Tesh has demonstrated that he is a strong and dynamic leader who is customer focused and knows our business well. He has worked closely with our teams across the company to execute our strategy and deliver results. We are confident that Tesh’s experience positions him well to lead the Company as our CEO during this transition.”
Prior to joining CyrusOne in 2012, Durvasula served in CMO positions for QTS Data Centers and Telx. He started his career as a vice president of Abovenet and then co-founded NYC-Connect, a data center and interconnection business based at 111 8th Avenue. The NYC Connect data center and meet-me-room businesses were sold to Digital Realty Trust and Telx in 2007.
The CyrusOne board said it will launch a search for a new CEO, which will include consideration of Durvasula as well as external candidates.
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“I know that I speak for everyone at CyrusOne in thanking Gary for his strong leadership and vision,” said Durvasula. “Over the years, Gary has helped create a strong company culture at CyrusOne focused on excellent customer service and delivering shareholder value, which will remain unchanged.”
“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank and recognize Gary Wojtaszek for his strong leadership and vision that has enabled CyrusOne to become one of the largest and most successful data center companies in the world,” Shumate said in a statement. “Under Gary’s leadership, the company has grown to nearly $1 billion in revenue, expanded into Europe, Asia and Latin America, achieved an investment grade credit rating, and had a stock price that outperformed its public data center peers, as well as both the RMZ and S&P 500 indexes, since the Company’s IPO in January 2013.”
“It has been a tremendous journey and privilege to serve as the CEO and a Board member of CyrusOne since its IPO and spin-off from Cincinnati Bell,” Wojtaszek said in a statement. “From helping take the company public, to expanding overseas and emerging as one of the top data center companies in the world, I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and the culture we have created. I believe in the mission of CyrusOne, I have confidence in Tesh and the team, and look forward to seeing the company continue to succeed and expand.”
Last month the company reduced its workforce by 12 percent, citing slower demand from hyperscale customers.