Redknee board fires CEO Skoczkowski

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Lucas Skoczkowski ‘removed by the board’ from role as CEO as company appoints turnaround specialist as successor

Redknee Solutions has removed Lucas Skoczkowski from his post as CEO and started the hunt for a replacement.

The company has given no explanation for Skoczkowski’s removal, which came at the same time that two directors, Alan Michels and Kent Thexton, stepped down from the board.

Redknee has appointed Danielle Royston, a turnaround specialist, as interim CEO. The company said that the new board “must undertake aggressive changes in the short-term to fix the fundamentals of the business”, and said it “sees enormous long-term potential for Redknee”.

The move comes six months after a significant shareholder in the Canadian software vendor called for the board to start “a broad sale process for the entire company”. Crescendo Partners said in a letter to the board: “We have lost confidence in the current board and management team’s ability to create value for shareholders and believe that the company should immediately commence a strategic process to sell itself.”

A week ago the company reported first-quarter revenues down from $50.1 million to $37.2 million, with profit and EBITDA also down. Loss in the quarter was up from $4.3 million to $6.4 million. Though the company is Canadian, it reports in US dollars. Redknee is a billing and customer care vendor which four years ago bought Nokia's customer care business for €40 million. 

Fellow director Scott Brighton thanked Thexton and Michaels but gave no tribute to Skoczkowski. “I want to thank Kent and Alan for their service to the company,” said Brighton. “We wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

The company’s statement said that Skoczkowski “has been removed by the board from his role as chief executive officer”, without any further details. However Skoczkowski remains on Redknee’s board.

Royston will be interim CEO, effective immediately, while the company starts its search for a full-time replacement. Brighton said “Danielle Royston is an exceptional software executive who has been the architect of numerous turnarounds. We thank her for accepting this important role.”

A computer scientist from Stanford University, Royston describes herself on LinkedIn as “an operating executive in the enterprise software industry with a focus on turning around technology companies” and says she is an “entrepreneurial leader with deep experience transforming cost structures, growing revenues, building teams, and building loyal customers [with an] earlier background in recruiting, training, compensation, and software development.”

She is also CEO of Versata, which “invests capital and operational excellence to revitalise world-class software and technology companies for sustainable success”.