Home VoIP pioneer Vonage is looking for a new chief after its longtime CEO announced his retirement. Marc Lefar joined Vonage in 2008, and the company today announced he will step down after his replacement is found. His replacement will have a tough act to follow.
Lefar has led Vonage to five consecutive years of profitability despite constant new challengers. When Vonage launched its home-phone VoIP service in 2004, it faced little competition. But since Lefar joined the company, home-phone use has dropped dramatically, and telecom giants have launched similar VoIP home-phone services. Yet, Vonage has managed to stay around. Its stock price is up over 100 percent over 2008 levels.
Here is Lefar in a written statement announcing his departure:
During the past six years, I have been privileged to work with an exceptional team and a highly engaged, supportive Board. Together, we completed a comprehensive financial, operational and strategic turnaround. Today, the Company is financially stronger than ever and is making good progress against its growth initiatives, including the successful integration and continued strong performance of Vocalocity, which we acquired last fall. As a result of our progress, and after consideration about the long-term needs of the Company as well as my personal goals, it became clear that now is the right time to select a new leader to help write the next chapter of the Vonage story. I am committed to leading our efforts as the Board searches for a new chief executive.
Today, following the news of Lefar’s retirement, Vonage’s stock price opened lower, and is currently trading at $4.12 a share.