VOIP services

New Vonage CEO Next Week?

4:15 PM -- It's been well over a year since Michael Snyder stepped down as CEO of Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG). (See Vonage CEO Leaves; Job Cuts Begin.) At the time, Chairman Jeffery Citron stepped in as interim CEO while the company began its formal search for a full-time replacement. It appears that search has finally come to an end as The Wall Street Journal reports the company could appoint some poor sap to the job next week.

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?

And we haven't even touched the patent lawsuits that nearly killed the company in the first place. Who says more of those can't happen?

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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