Whoever it is that gets the job, he or she will enter with Vonage at a crossroads. The company will likely sink or swim in the coming year, and answers to a few key questions will determine that.
- Can Vonage pay off all its debt? It certainly took a step in that direction when it signed a letter of intent to receive $215 million in private debt financing. (See Vonage Commits to Refinance.) But we don't know how onerous those terms could be, therefore paying off its $253 million in debt still could be a sticky matter.
- Can it fix its churn rate? Even putting the company in sound financial order won't change the fact that the Vonage service still pretty much sucks. Churn continues to rise, which the company blames on poor customer service. How can the new CEO fix that?
- Can it compete with triple-play offerings? Vonage tried to be more competitive by partnering with Covad on a double-play phone and broadband offering. (See Vonage Turns a Double Play.) But that still doesn't hold up to cable and telco triple-play competition. Could another partnership be in the works for the new CEO?
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading