If you haven't heard yet, Citrix has announced that long-time CEO Mark Templeton will be retiring this year. I don't want to get into a retrospective of his career today—we'll wait until he retires for that—but I'll say you can add my name to the long list of people who love the guy.
Instead today I want to focus on the future of Citrix in a post Mark Templeton world. The board has formed a search committee to find his replacement. If you were on that committee, what kind of person would you look for? Do any names come to mind?
This transition comes at a critical point for the company. Citrix is 25 years old, and like so many other IT vendors nowadays, they're trying to reposition themselves from their roots of selling software to end-user companies who deploy it onsite to the future world based on cloud and services.
Microsoft was in the exact same boat a few months ago before they announced that Satya Nadella would replace Steve Ballmer. Like Templeton, Ballmer was at Microsoft forever and oversaw tremendous growth of the company through the era of selling boxed software. Nadella came to the CEO position from the head of their cloud & enterprise group which seems to be exactly what you'd want in that situation. So it seems that Citrix needs to find a new leader with the same type of experience—someone who understands the enterprise IT space as well as the cloud and services.
Various names have been floated as potential replacements. Some have questioned whether David Henshall would get the spot. He's been Citrix's CFO since 2003 and was the interim CEO during Mark's personal leave of absence last year. Henshall was recently given the COO role as well.
I've also heard Bob Muglia's name as a possibility. Muglia is currently an EVP at Juniper but is most known as Microsoft's head of servers and tools who quit/was fired in 2011. Some have thought of him as an "old guard" type guy, though Mary Jo Foley wrote, "Muglia's been championing private and public cloud products and services from the company, and has done a lot to guide Microsoft's 'All In' transition."
So maybe he could be the guy?
I don't know many of the execs at Citrix, so I don't know whether they have anyone else internally they'd look to. There have to be other Silicon Valley execs who'd be a good fit too? So what do you think? What type of person should they look for, and what's going to be important for the new CEO over the next five or ten years?
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