Citrix CEO to retire as Elliott Management pushes its agenda

July 28, 2015, 10:18 PM UTC
Citrix Systems President And CEO Mark Templeton
Mark Templeton, president and chief executive officer of Citrix Systems Inc., speaks during an interview in Singapore, on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Citrix is the largest software and computer-services provider in the U.S. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Munshi Ahmed — Bloomberg via Getty Images

There was a lot moving and shaking at Citrix Systems Tuesday. Long-time chief executive officer Mark Templeton said he plans to retire but will stick around for a successor to be named. And, in related news, the company named Elliott Management partner Jesse Cohn to its board, replacing Asiff Hirji, who stepped down today. And, Citrix agreed to add another independent board member to be agreed upon by the company and Elliott.

Elliott Management disclosed a 7.1% stake in Citrix last month, and noted that Citrix (CTSX) could and should cut costs and non-core businessesincluding CloudBridge, CloudPlatform, and ByteMobileand perhaps spin off GoToMeeting and NetScaler.

In addition, Elliott, with a stake now standing at 7.5%, and some affiliates “agreed to customary standstill, voting and other provisions” for at least a year, according to the Citrix statement.

Templeton joined Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Citrix in 1995. He was named president in 1998 and became chief executive officer three years later. Citrix blazed the trail in desktop virtualization and has since branched out into application and server virtualization as well as software-as-a-service offerings, along with the aforementioned GoToMeeting web conferencing service.

Elliott Management has been making a lot of noise. It’s also got EMC (EMC) in its sights, pushing for that company to spin off VMware(VMW) and possibly other businesses in pursuit of shareholder value.

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