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Savvis Stripped of CEO

IT utility provider Savvis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: SVVS) had two big announcements yesterday. The first -- and largest -- was that it has suspended its CEO, Robert McCormick, who is being sued by American Express over a $241,000 unpaid strip-club bill.

In the first announcement, released Monday afternoon, Savvis lectured the media for inaccurate reporting and stated that "McCormick did not submit the charges in question to Savvis for reimbursement."

The company does not dispute that McCormick made the charges on a corporate credit card, only that he asked for reimbursement. (See Savvis CEO Scores Stripper Suit.) McCormick is disputing the bill, and he told a New York newspaper that he only spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 at the club during the night in question.

Just hours after its first statement to the media, in which Savvis said it had no further comment, the company sent out another press release, to comment on its prior "no comment."

In the second statement, Savvis said it would launch "a full investigation into matters relating to" Big Bob's stripper bill. (See Savvis Launches Investigation.) While the investigation is going on, Savvis has sidelined McCormick, placing him on unpaid leave while the company's president, Jack M. Finlayson, temporarily takes the reins.

"Savvis continues to lead the industry in delivering innovative IT solutions to businesses," said Finlayson. "Our Board of Directors takes the concerns of stockholders very seriously. I am confident that the Audit Committee will conduct a fair, prompt and thorough investigation that protects the interests of Savvis, its investors, customers, and employees."

Wall Street was tempted by the swaying hips of Savvis's corporate forthrightness. The company's stock shot up $0.05 (8.33%) to $0.65 in trading on Tuesday.

Is that hot, or what?

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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