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Citrix Breaks Away from ByteMobile and Goto, CEO Announces Retirement

Mark Templeton, current CEO since 2001, has been toying with the idea of retirement and looked ready to do so last year. However, this year announced with energetic zeal that he would stay on and face the oncoming challenges for Citrix head-on.

However, Elliott Management, an activist investor with over 7% of Citrix stock, recently won a chair on the board and is challenging Mark’s leadership. They are claiming operational inefficiencies and are recommending multiple changes. As you can see with the below letter, they are looking to spin off the Goto suite (Including Gotomeeting, GotoWebinar, GoToMyPC, etc.) and have divested from ByteMobile, with the goal of focusing on their core products.

So, Templeton has decided to step down rather than face the ax of many of the products he helped to build. According to reports, Elliott Management is planning to kill off several products that are currently underperforming.

What does this mean to Citrix users? The core product line will remain intact. However, many of the side product lines will likely be streamlined, spun off or sold. Bottom line is that there will be several changes to the Citrix software portfolio in the next year.

If you are a Goto user, a new company may mean better management, more focused development and new life.

As for Templeton, he is one of the most highly regarded Tech Giants in the industry. I saw him personally earlier this year at the Citrix event in Vegas. He looks like he has the energy of a 30 year old. I honestly believe he has more fuel in the tank and might take on a lesser CEO challenge somewhere else, or become a talking head, speaker, etc.. He isn’t done. He has built Citrix into a formidable software company. And just like Cisco’s John Chambers’ retirement announcement earlier this month, Templeton will be remembered long after for his important contribution to the industry.

Dear Citrix Partner,

You’re a valued partner to Citrix and in case you missed it, I wanted to personally reach out to you and make you aware of some important news that Citrix announced earlier today. Alongside our Q2 earnings release, we announced some organizational and strategy changes I want to make sure you have seen and understand.

Last year, after restarting my role as CEO, I made a commitment to focus my full energy on five primary goals: (1) to establish a sustainable next-generation strategy for Citrix, (2) to protect and nurture our strong culture, (3) to increase our focus on innovation, (4) to build profitable growth around our core competencies and (5) to enable a smooth CEO succession process when appropriate.

We’ve made steady progress on these goals, putting many important changes in place during the first half of the year. Our product, marketing and go to market plans for the second half will build on them, while getting greater focus on our core app delivery, security and access solutions; increasing our efficiency to deliver expanded operating margins; and better positioning Citrix to solve critical challenges our customers face.

Over the past several years, we’ve broadened our strategic agenda as a result of growth, acquisitions, new technologies and products. Going forward, I strongly believe that our success lies in simplifying our message, portfolio and offerings while focusing more intensely on our core mission – secure delivery of apps and data. This, in turn, will lead to even better execution, greater efficiency, and profitable growth.

While we’ve made significant progress in operating efficiency, we all know there’s more to do. That’s the thinking behind the operational review we announced today, and why we’ve asked Bob Calderoni, a member of our board, to lead that review in his role as Executive Chairman. We want to tap Bob’s operating experience more directly, and this will help us continue to improve the overall effectiveness of the business.

As you will see in our earnings press release, we have also recommended to the board we review strategic alternatives for our “GoTo” family of products. We’re looking at how an independent, pure-play GoTo business would operate in an environment unconstrained by the company’s overall operating model; while at the same time allowing us to drive greater focus and growth from our core app and data delivery products. We think this could be a win-win and with the potential of unlocking greater value for employees, customers and shareholders. In addition, we also announced the pending divestiture of our ByteMobile business. After much consideration and analysis, we made the very difficult decision this product was not core to our go-forward strategy. We are just beginning this process, so it’s impossible to predict the timing or type of any specific outcome but we will of course provide updates, once we evaluate our options.

Secondly, and on a personal note, I’ve announced my decision to retire from Citrix, upon the board’s identification of a successor. Since a search for the right successor can take time, it’s important to me that the board begin that process now, while I continue to drive the commitments I made 12 months ago – without distraction, and with confidence in a thoughtful transition process.
My heart and soul are committed to making Citrix a success in this new chapter of our journey. I can assure you I’ll be fully engaged with our leadership team and board to push us forward until we identify the best person to take the reins of CEO – however long that may take.

On behalf of the Citrix team, we appreciate your partnership and thank you for your ongoing support.


Mark Templeton
President and Chief Executive Officer

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