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Templeton To Step Down as Citrix President and CEO

Citrix is in the midst of a shakeup.

On Tuesday, the company announced that Mark Templeton, Citrix's president since 1998 and CEO since 2001, will retire after a successor has been chosen.

Simultaneously, Citrix said it has agreed to give activist investor Elliott Management, which holds 7.5 percent of Citrix's common stock, a seat on its board. The seat will be filled by Jesse Cohen, who will replace Asiff Hirji.

Citrix also said that its board has formed an operations committee to work closely with the company's management team to find ways to improve margins, profits and capital structure.

The board has also agreed to Elliott's demand that it consider the sale or spinoff of the Citrix "Go To" business, which includes GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC and GoToWebinar. Citrix said it will conduct a review of strategic alternatives for that business.

Elliott last month sent a letter to Templeton and Citrix Chairman Thomas Bogan indicating that it wants to see the company improve its operations and spin off some assets. In the letter, Elliott argued that Citrix is significantly undervalued and suggested that its stock could be worth up to $100 per share by the end of next year.

Citrix's stock closed at $61.47 per share on Thursday, though it rose on the news of the corporate and executive changes, as well as a slightly-better-than expected second quarter report. The company reported $797 million in revenue for Q2, up 2 percent year-over-year, and $103 million in earnings.

In addition to new board director Cohen, the operations committee will include Citrix director Robert Calderoni, who was also named executive chairman of the board. Bogan was also named to the committee; he'll become lead independent director of the Citrix board.

"We believe the addition of new and fresh perspectives to our board will ensure Citrix continues to lead in application networking and virtualization markets," Bogan said in a statement.

Added Elliott's Cohen: "We are confident that the initiatives announced today and the addition of new directors to the company's board will allow Citrix to build upon its position as an innovative industry leader, and to drive significant shareholder value."

Citrix, best known these days for its XenDesktop and XenApp desktop virtualization platform, is also betting big on its new Cloud Workspace platform. The company demonstrated Cloud Workspace for first time at its Synergy conference in Orlando, Fla., back in May.

Citrix Workspace Cloud is the company's next-generation digital workspace for Windows-based PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, new Linux-based systems and even embedded devices that enable Internet of Things-type environments. It's based on a cloud delivery architecture that provides orchestration across servers and nodes.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.