Dice’s Parent Company Announces Search for New CEO, Stock Continues Slide

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Nov 3, 2017

The U.S. added 261,000 jobs in October. Unemployment is 4.1 percent. History says the job board business should be booming. But history, it turns out, doesn’t always repeat itself.

$DHX revenues remain stagnant in a hot economy.

DHI Group, the company that owns tech board Dice and a variety of other niche sites, reported earnings on November 2. It reported EPS of $0.07, which beat estimates by $0.01, and revenue of $52.42 million, which was a miss by $-0.07 million and a year-over-year decrease of 6.5 percent. The company is stagnant.

The search for a new CEO is also underway, as revealed by the company’s quarterly earnings call. As of this writing, the stock is down 8 percent following the news. Since January 2017, the stock price is down over 60 percent.

“As DHI continues to execute on its strategy to become a single tech-focused organization, now is the right time in the company’s evolution to implement a CEO transition plan,” said John Barter, Chairman of the Board. “The board remains confident in the company’s strategy and believes that there are opportunities to accelerate DHI’s progress and improve business execution. The board is confident in its ability to identify a successor who will effectively drive improved growth and shareholder value by reinvigorating DHI’s technology talent acquisition franchise and fast-tracking the development of next-generation talent acquisition solutions.”

Mike Durney, the current CEO, has been a senior executive at DHI for over 17 years. He served as CFO when he first joined the Company in 2000 and then as CEO since 2013.

This time last year, DHI put itself up for sale in light of Randstad’s acquisition of Monster. No one bit, and the company took itself off the market a few months later. Things haven’t improved, which makes the move to replace Durney no big surprise.

I interviewed Durney on my podcast a few months ago. He’s an affable guy, and I don’t doubt his credentials. However, it became clear to me that, as a CFO by nature, he was not a visionary who could take the company’s portfolio, particularly Dice, where it needed to go. Want to sell a company and pass due diligence? Mike’s your guy. Want to develop a vision to take on LinkedIn, GitHub, and Google? Not so much.

Durney will remain president and CEO until March 31, 2018 or until a successor is found. In the event the search process extends beyond March 31, Durney has agreed to stay on for a designated period. The company said once a successor is appointed, Durney will serve in an advisory capacity for a short time to help ensure a smooth transition.

“We are executing on our go-forward strategy focused on tech and skills, which we are confident will bring renewed growth to the company. I will continue to work on focusing our resources behind the tech-first strategy and deepening engagement with professionals while the company conducts its search for the next leader of the business,” Durney said in the company’s latest earning call.

Techie hub Stack Overflow is canning a lot of people. Maybe DHI should start looking there for its next leader.