There is no disputing the success virtualisation software vendor Citrix Systems has had under the leadership of CEO Mark Templeton. During his tenure Citrix has gone from $400m to more than $3bn in sales. Little wonder that the board has now decided to keep their CEO, despite his retirement announcement earlier this year.
Citrix has announced that Templeton will stay on as CEO in a "multiyear" agreement. He has so far spent 14 years at the Citrix helm.
Last autumn, he took a leave of absence after the death of his son.
"After completing our search process, and considering a number of qualified candidates, the board concluded that Mark is the best leader to drive the company forward at this time of dynamic change in our business," Citrix chairman Thomas F Bogan said in a statement.
Citrix's plans to replace Templeton were well defined.
At the May Synergy conference, partners and customers alike presented tributes - many emotional - to Templeton's leadership and service to the company and its reseller community. The company had engaged in a broad search for a high-profile, seasoned replacement.
There was no explanation of how Citrix and Templeton came to agree to extend his service into the indefinite future. One possibility is that Templeton decided to put his personal issues behind him and focus on work. As he has said, circumstances have changed.
"While I had planned to retire within the year following my leave of absence, my personal circumstances have changed, and I am more determined than ever to lead Citrix through its next wave of transformation. Our core businesses have market-leading positions and our early successes in mobile and cloud services put [Citrix] at a pivotal inflection point in its evolution.
"I deeply appreciate the Board's support for my continued leadership of the company at this important time. There is much to be done, and my commitment to drive the business forward is unwavering," Templeton wrote.
Citrix and its peers have enjoyed much success enabling the virtualised world. Thanks to their innovations and products, the virtualisation segment has made possible distributed and ubiquitous computing, consolidated and high-efficient datacentres, and flexible computing platforms.
In recent years, Citrix has expanded into virtual desktops, mobility management and software defined networking (SDN). While it's gaining traction in all three segments, growing is increasingly more of a challenge.
Server virtualisation reached market saturation a few years ago, with more than 80 per cent of installed servers runningsome form of virtualisation software. While SDN and mobility are growth opportunities, competition is stiff.
Generally, Citrix customer and partner communities have welcomed the continuation of Templeton's administration.
However, it is understood that many were looking forward for fresh perspective and leadership. The board appears to be cognisant of this, pledging to make concerted efforts to bolster Citrix's leadership succession plan.
"While Mark has made a multiyear commitment, CEO succession remains an important focus for our board and we will continue to manage for the time when he steps down," Bogan said.
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