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Equinix CEO Steve Smith Resigned Six Days Before Public Disclosure

Steven M. Smith
Steven M. Smith

When Equinix disclosed CEO Steve Smith's mysterious resignation on January 25, the public statement actually came nearly a full week after Smith's private January 19 resignation to the company's board, an SEC filing shows. The board accepted the January 19 resignation that very day, according to the SEC filing.

The SEC filing does not reveal why Smith chose to leave the cloud services, data center and network interconnection company. Nor does it say why Equinix required nearly a week before publicly announcing the CEO change on January 25. The filing said the resignation was "not related to a disagreement with Equinix over any of its operations, policies or practices."

In the public announcement on January 25, Equinix said Smith made the "difficult decision to resign as CEO, and from the Equinix Board of Directors, after exercising poor judgment with respect to an employee matter."

Speculation about what actually triggered the resignation has since run wild. A person close to the matter said no lawsuits related to Smith's departure have been filed, according to The Mercury News. That vague. anonymous statement apparently seeks to distance Smith and Equinix from media speculation about the situation.

Equinix Leadership: Moving Forward

Equinix also named Executive Chairman Peter Van Camp interim CEO of the company, effective January 19. The effort also includes a formal board process to appoint a new CEO. In the meantime, Van Camp is well-known both inside and outside the company. He has been with Equinix in key roles for more than 17 years, and he was Equinix's CEO for seven years (2000 to 2007), the board noted.

Equinix has been in growth mode, building out its own data centers worldwide while also creating high-speed, secure interconnections to public clouds. Revenue was $1.152 billion in Q3 2017, up 25 percent from Q3 2016, the company announced in November 2017. The company is expected to announce quarterly results on February 14, 2018.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.