Savvis Inc. chief executive officer Phil Koen resigned at the close of business Friday, the company said this morning. James Ousley will serve as interim chief executive officer while the company's board of directors searches for a new CEO. Ousley has served as non-executive chairman of Savvis since May 2006 and as a director since April 2002.
In a morning conference call, Ousley said Koen's departure was a "joint decision" by Koen and the board of directors. "We've been talking for some time," said Ousley. "We came to a mutual agreement that it was time for Phil to look for other opportunities. ... The first of the year is always a good time to make these transitions."
Savvis (SVVS) also affirmed its 2009 guidance, apparently in a sign to investors that Koen's sudden departure is not linked to any material change in the company's performance. The current guidance calls for adjusted EBITDA of $215 to $220 million, and adjusted free cash flow of $40 to $50 million.
Ousley cited the company's successes, and said the fourth quarter saw thew best bookings in 18 months. He also noted the progress under Koen in shifting the company's colocation base toward enterprise customers, the growth of its proximity hosting business for financial traders, and the company's entrance into the cloud computing market.
But he also said Savvis hopes to launch a "more aggressive pursuit of expanding our growth," and said the company would take a "fresh look" at its sales and marketing efforts.
"I joined Savvis in 2006, with the objective to build a better company and to develop a world class team dedicated to meeting and exceeding our customers' diverse requirements for IT infrastructure services," said Koen. "In consultation with our board of directors - and knowing we have a very strong leadership team in place - this is an excellent time for me to move on to a new opportunity and to watch Savvis continue to grow and excel."
"The board is grateful to Phil for his service to the company, particularly during these challenging economic times," said Jim Ousley, interim CEO of Savvis. "Phil built a solid foundation for Savvis, as he transformed it into an IT infrastructure services company with a dedicated focus on cloud computing. He helped put in place a strong, experienced and stable management team and a strategic vision for the future, which we plan to expand on in 2010."
Ousley founded Vytek Wireless Corporation in 2001 and was president, chief executive officer and a director until 2004. In addition, Ousley previously served as CEO and president of Syntegra Inc. (USA) and as president and CEO of Control Data Systems.