No stranger to legal battles, Rovi lost a different kind of fight yesterday with the ousting of two members from its Board of Directors, Chairman Andrew Ludwick and Jim O'Shaughnessy.
In their stead, stockholders elected Glenn W. Welling and Raghavendra Rau, two candidates backed by activist investment firm Engaged Capital LLC. Rovi Corp. President and CEO Thomas Carson will act as interim chairman.
Rovi grew up in the cable industry as a provider of TV metadata and electronic program guides. It has worked to expand its portfolio in recent years, however, by targeting new markets like the consumer electronics industry, and expanding into new product areas such as advertising analytics. (See Rovi Lands A&E for Ad Analytics.)
While successful for years at licensing its technology, Rovi has engendered little goodwill after numerous lawsuits against customers and potential customers. Engaged Capital has publicly pursued a presence on the Board since March, while Rovi has equally publicly rebuffed the firm's advances in the hopes of keeping its existing Board leadership intact. Of the three candidates Engaged Capital had in the running, only one, David Lockwood, failed to pick up a seat on the Board.
In response to the election outcome, Rovi's Carson said: "We thank our stockholders for their efforts and consideration in re-electing five of our directors, and the continued confidence they have expressed in Rovi's Board and strategy. We also value insights and feedback we have received from our stockholders over the past several weeks. We look forward to welcoming Glenn and Raghu to the Board, once the vote has been certified, and to working with them constructively to build value for Rovi stockholders over the long term."
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading