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Citrix Systems Names New CEO; Software Company Not for Sale?

Kirill Tatarinov

David J. Henshall

Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) has replaced its CEO for the fourth time since 2015. This time Kirill Tatarinov is out, succeeded by David J. Henshall as president and CEO, effective immediately. Henshall had been Citrix’s CFO and COO.

Henshall is a long-time Citrix executive who has financial and enterprise software expertise. He joined the company as CFO in 2003; was appointed senior VP and CFO in 2006; and appointed as COO and CFO in 2011. In addition, he served as acting CEO and president of Citrix in 2013 and 2014. Earlier, he held financial positions at Rational Software, Cypress Semiconductor and Samsung.

Citrix has been the subject of on-and-off takeover rumors for more than a decade. Potential company sale rumors popped up again earlier this year, with some pundits expecting private equity firms to bid for Citrix. Also, some watchers expected Microsoft to buy Citrix and fold the company’s technology into the Azure cloud. But those rumors have cooled off in recent months.

Citrix: Not Up for Sale?

Citrix’s announcement about the CEO change seems to indicate that the company is not up for sale, and will instead seek to remain an independent, growing entity. Also, it sounds like Tatarinov’s departure was a mutual agreement between the former CEO and the company.

According to a Citrix statement:

“The Citrix board has identified the leadership team to drive the company’s long-term strategy and growth, led by David Henshall. In addition to product excellence and growth, Citrix is committed to operational efficiency and value creation. This includes a series of strategic initiatives intended to drive operating margin expansion, increase capital return and facilitate further investment in accelerating Citrix’s transformation to a cloud-based subscription business and in high-growth areas, such as data security and analytics services.”

Citrix said it will provide additional details about those initiatives during the company’s Q2 earnings call. That call is scheduled for July 24, according to Yahoo Finance.

Citrix: Simplified Business Focus

Citrix has also simplified its business in recent years, spinning off its “GoTo” business to focus on Workspace-as-a-Service, application delivery, virtualization, mobility, network delivery and file sharing solutions. The company had annual revenues of $3.42 billion in 2016.

The Citrix CEO change comes during a high-profile week for the company. Citrix and many of its rivals are attending Microsoft Inspire 2017, a major partner conference in Washington, D.C. The company is emphasizing Workspace as a Service for Azure at the conference.

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