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Former Google Exec Takes Reins at Vonage

**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in August and September.**

Marc Lefar is retiring as CEO of Vonage Holdings Corp.

Vonage's Marc Lefar is retiring in November.The VoIP services provider said on Tuesday that Alan Masarek, 53, has been appointed to lead the company as of Nov. 6. Lefar’s last day will be Nov. 5.

News stories published in April reported that Lefar, 50, intended to retire by the end of this year, so Tuesday’s announcement does not come as a surprise. Under Lefar’s leadership since July 2008, Vonage returned to the black, expanded its services outside of the United States, added mobility, and added the Vonage Business unit, which is building its channel program under Zane Long.

“[Lefar] helped chart a new course for the company, delivering dramatic financial and operational improvements, which allowed the company to invest for growth while delivering significant value to our shareholders,” said Jeffrey Citron, founder and chairman of Vonage in a prepared statement.

Alan Masarek is taking over as Vonage's chief executive officer.Masarek, meanwhile, joins Vonage from Google where he served as director, Chrome & Apps, after Google bought Quickoffice, the firm he co-founded. Prior to starting Quickoffice, Masarek co-founded and served as CEO and chairman of AdOutlet Inc., a marketplace for the media sector. Before that, he worked as president of Advanced Health Corp.

“The board is confident in Alan’s ability to take Vonage into its next phase of growth and innovation, and in the overall future of the company under his leadership,” Citron said.

In a Securities & Exchange Commission filing, Vonage said Masarek was not chosen due to “arrangements or understandings” between him or anyone at the company. He also holds no material interests in any transactions required to be disclosed.

Vonage also laid out the terms of Masarek’s employment. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Three-year contract beginning Oct. 15, 2014 and ending Dec. 31, 2017; from Oct. 15 to Nov. 5, his title is “special advisor.” The CEO moniker will kick in on Nov. 6.
  • Either party may invoke “at will” termination.
  • Base salary of $800,000, eligible for annual cash bonus with a target bonus of 125 percent of that base salary.
  • Eligible soon for non-qualified stock option grants, allowing Masarek to buy 3 million shares of Vonage common stock.
  • Eligible for different amounts of restricted stock units based on continued employment and performance goals.
  • Golden parachute protections if Masarek is fired or leaves for “good reason,” as defined in his employment agreement.
  • A monthly housing and commuting allowance up to 12 months after starting as CEO that can’t exceed $9,500 per month; relocation benefits; and coverage of some legal fees connected to his employment negotiation.

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