Vonage Back Under Citron’s Control

Last year, Vonage founder Jeffrey Citron wanted to take his company public. The problem was, he’d been indicted for securites fraud back in 2003, in a case surrounding his previous company, Datek Securities. So he needed someone else to be CEO, and he alighted on a chap named Mike Snyder.

Well, that didn’t last long. Snyder is out, and Citron is now “interim” CEO — we’ll see how long that lasts. Vonage, of course, is on the losing side of a nasty patent fight with Verizon at the moment, and has the dubious distinction of being by far the worst-performing IPO of 2006.

The good news is that the announcement seems to have helped the stock rise by a very impressive 10% today; the bad news is that that rise is just 31 cents per share. (By contrast, the stock closed on its opening day at $14.85, down $2.15 from the IPO price.)

For the time being, I’m keeping my Vonage service, which I’ve had for four years now; the alternatives don’t seem to be any better, especially when you take into account Vonage’s international phone rates. (Calls to UK landlines are free!) But there’s no way I’d go anywhere near the stock, even if I were a stock-picking kinda guy, which I’m not.

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1 Response to Vonage Back Under Citron’s Control

  1. One moral to this story is that one ought to check the backgrounds of the management team and significant owners before you invest. How does a guy indicted for securities fraud relatively recently get a big IPO? Lack of due diligence.

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