Equinix CEO Steve Smith leaves abruptly

  • After almost eleven years in the position
  • Praise for Smith
  • Peter Van Camp taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Redwood City, California, January 25, 2018 — Steve Smith, chief executive of Equinix, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Equinix, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, January 25, 2018, Stephen M. (Steve) Smith, Chief Executive Officer, has left the interconnection and data center company after almost eleven years in the position, effective January 19, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 36 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months left the position after more than ten years.

Equinix will undertake a search for a successor.

Smith’s duties were taken over in the interim by Peter Van Camp, currently Executive Chairman at Equinix, Inc.

“Poor judgment with respect to an employee matter”

Smith’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Equinix said: “CEO Steve Smith has 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.”

Precise information about Smith’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Resigned”

Equinix said: “On January 19, 2018, Stephen Smith, Chief Executive Officer, President and a member of the Board of Directors … of Equinix, Inc. …, resigned from all positions with Equinix. The Board accepted Mr. Smith’s resignation on January 19, 2018.”

“In the best interests of the company”

“The Equinix Board of Directors, in the best interests of the company, has accepted his resignation and appointed Executive Chairman Peter Van Camp interim CEO of the company, effective immediately,” Equinix said.

“Not related to a disagreement with Equinix over any of its operations, policies or practices”

“Mr. Smith’s decision to resign was not related to a disagreement with Equinix over any of its operations, policies or practices,” Equinix said.

Share price rise since February 2009

The change follows a rise in the share price of Equinix, Inc. since February 2009.

Chaired by Peter Van Camp

Equinix, Inc. is chaired by Peter Van Camp.

Van Camp also continues to serve as the Company’s executive chairman, a position he was appointed to in April 2007.

In the position of CEO since 2007

Stephen M. Smith has been the President of Equinix, Inc. since April 2007 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since April 2, 2007.

Stephen M. Smith joined Equinix in 2007 from Hewlett-Packard Co., where he served as Senior Vice President of HP Services.

There he was responsible for management of the organizations Consulting and Integration, Managed Services, and Technology Deployment and Support business groups.

Prior to joining HP, Smith served as Vice President of Global Professional and Managed Services at Lucent Technologies.

He has also held various management and sales positions during his 16 years with Electronic Data Systems Corporation, including Chief Sales Officer, President of EDS Asia-Pacific, and President of EDS Western Region.

At EDS, his roles spanned sales, business development, operations, acquisition-driven integration, and the management of international growth.

Smith also had a successful eight-year career in the U.S. Army where, among other roles, he was aide-de-camp to the office of the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Pacific.

Smith graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a B.S. in Engineering.

Read the full story in the exechange report 5.2018 ($).