Like so many companies these days, Monster hired a boomerang to be its new leader, announcing Tuesday morning that former CFO and current director Tim Yates will be the company’s new CEO.
The announcement was made by Sal Iannuzzi, the company’s chairman, and now former CEO and president, during the quarterly financial conference call with investment analysts. After discussing Monster’s financial performance, which surpassed Wall Street’s predictions on both earnings and revenue, Iannuzzi said he was stepping down for undisclosed personal reasons. He will remain on the board as non-executive chairman.
Such explanations might ordinarily signal a forced change of command over board unhappiness with performance or strategy or both. And with Monster’s stock trading at historic lows, it’s a reasonable assumption. However, Monster’s Three Pillar strategy, unveiled in May, shows signs of paying off. Monster earned 5 cents a share in the third quarter, beating the 3 cents a share Wall Street predicted. Revenue grew to $191.2 million, compared to analysts’ estimates of $189.9 million.
Still, revenue was down 2.8 percent versus the third quarter in 2013, and down 2 percent compared to the quarter that ended June 30. CareerBuilder, by contrast, reported North American revenue alone of $166 million.
However, Iannuzzi and his successor who participated in the conference call expressed confidence the company was turning the corner. Iannuzzi reported bookings — corporate contracts for postings, resume searching and other services — were up 7 percent. And he noted the growth of the jobs aggregation, which is up to 4.5 million listings, and the use of TalentBin and Twitter Cards.
With the company’s redirected strategy — toward providing services to the recruiting industry and not just job posting and advertising — still new and not fully tested, analysts asked during the Q&A if it might be changed.
“We do not plan to — we’re not going to revisit the strategy. We’re fully committed to it.,” said Yates, the new CEO.
Iannuzzi, who handled most of the conference call, insisted his departure was his own decision.
“My reasons for leaving the company are exactly what I said. It’s personal, okay? So by definition, I really don’t want to get into it,” Iannuzzi said, responding to a question about possible changes to the strategy.
“The strategy is what we laid out. The strategy is taking off … There is no dispute whatsoever between the board and myself or the management team with regard to the strategy. We are all very much behind it. In fact, I’ll continue to assist anyway that I can. I am not stepping away. I think I will continue to be an employee of this company for a number of months to come, okay, to see that, that strategy is executed. So I — one message I want to send very clearly is that the strategy is solid. The strategy is right. Everyone here is behind that strategy.”