Ixia Chief Fails Veracity Test

Test and measurement vendor's CEO gets bumped for bullsh***ing but, fortunately, founder and figurehead Errol Ginsberg's still in town.

October 25, 2013

2 Min Read
Ixia Chief Fails Veracity Test

This is going to be one of the strangest things you'll read about this year: Test vendor Ixia has shown CEO Vic Alston to the exit door after finding out he had lied about his academic qualifications, his employment history, and his age.

The company announced that Alston resigned "following a determination by the Ixia audit committee that although he had attended Stanford University, he had misstated his academic credentials, incorrectly claiming to have received a B.S. and a M.S. in Computer Science, and had misstated his age and early employment history." (See Ixia's CEO Quits.)

Alston had been at Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) for nine years and took over as CEO in May 2012. (See Ixia to Change CEOs.)

Fortunately for Ixia, Errol Ginsberg, the company's chairman, founder and former CEO, has stepped in as acting CEO, while retaining his current role as chief innovation officer. To help him run the company, Ginsberg has appointed senior VP of strategy, Alex Pepe, as chief operating officer.

Pepe is a relative newcomer to the company, having come on board in June 2012 when Ixia acquired Anue Systems, where he was CEO. (See SPIT Bits: Now It's Ixia's Turn... and Ixia Completes $145M Anue Systems Buy.)

That Ginsberg is still around to step in will come as a relief to staff, customers, partners, and investors, who will also be placated by the news that Ixia's third-quarter revenues are set to come in on target, at around $115 million.

Jefferies & Company Inc. VP of Communications Infrastructure Equity Research, James Kisner, doesn't think the news should scare off customers. "We would be very surprised if a significant number of customers would feel compelled to migrate away from Ixia's products due to the circumstances of Alston's departure," he stated in a research note issued early Friday. "We believe the biggest risks are to company morale, particularly in light of the very tough year Ixia had been having prior to this event." (See Ixia Issues Q2 Sales Warning.)

But there is clearly some nervousness among shareholders, as Ixia's stock dipped 1.8 percent in pre-market trading early Friday to $15.43.

Ginsberg will now start looking for a permanent replacement for Alston. Any prospective applicants would be wise to double-check their resumes before submission…

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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