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Now SeaChange Loses Its President

The changing of the guard at SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) continued Wednesday with the departure of President Yvette Kanouff.

With her departure, SeaChange has taken the opportunity to eliminate the role of president.

Kanouff's departure comes amid a flurry of changes and upheaval at the company, which has been the subject of rampant M&A rumors.

SeaChange announced Tuesday that it was poised to save US$5 million per year via headcount reductions and other streamlining maneuvers. Company CEO and founder Bill Styslinger left SeaChange in November, followed by the departure of CFO Kevin M. Bisson last month. Raghu Rau is serving as SeaChange's interim CEO.

Kanouff, who joined SeaChange in 1997, was named president in March 2010. An industry source said Kanouff, a former Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) engineer who played a key role in the MSO's Full Service Network digital interactive video trial in the mid-1990s, has been courted by several other companies in recent weeks. "She's had some offers to do some other things," the source said. (See Now That's A Set-Top!)

Kanouff gave away little about her future in a statement about her departure: "I think SeaChange is well positioned for the future, however, it's the right time for me to move on, and I look forward to my next endeavor."

Why this matters
Multiple sources said SeaChange was desperate to be acquired in 2011 and had at least three interested suitors, including Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), but it couldn't match a buyer with its desired price. Now Kanouff's departure may spark new acquisition rumors.

Attracting potential buyers might be a tougher task without Kanouff, an experienced industry executive veteran who has intimate knowledge of the company and who played an integral part in morphing the cable video-on-demand (VoD) pioneer from a hardware specialist into a software-focused product and services company.

A SeaChange spokeswoman reiterated that the company remains "focused on being a standalone publicly traded company."

For more
Read more about the twists and turns at SeaChange.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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