Internap Hires Eric Cooney as CEO

January 30th, 2009 by · 4 Comments

Internap Network Services (NASDAQ:INAP, news, filings) has announced they are bringing in Eric Cooney as its new CEO and President, and named him to the board of directors. Cooney, most recently president and CEO of TANDBERG Television, will be replacing outgoing CEO James DeBlasio.  The transition to the new leadership will be on March 16.  One might chalk this up to stresses from the economic crisis, but that wouldn’t be correct.

DeBlasio took over as CEO three years ago from Greg Peters in November of 2005 to great fanfare as the company advanced out of the telecom nuclear winter looking quite strong.  However, the company’s acquisition of Vitalstream which closed in early 2007 turned into an unmitigated disaster.  Mistakes in the integration of the CDN led to instability in that network, the loss of many customers, and financial restatements.  Most importantly to a high end boutique shop like Internap the fiasco cost them a good chunk of valuable reputation.

So while that mess has now been cleaned up and the company seems to have regained its footing, it isn’t really a surprise that Internap’s board of directors chose to make the change.  Good luck to Mr. Cooney, given the economic environment out there he’s going to need it.  But then, the good thing about taking over in what may be the darkest time of a recession is that there is nowhere to go but up.

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Categories: Datacenter · Internet Backbones

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4 Comments So Far

  • Paolo says:

    Of the original team involved in the Internap/Vitalstream negotiations (both sides of the table) – i.e. De Blasio, Buckel, Albrecht, Klinker, Waterman, Kaplan, Mersch, etc. – there were probably just two people left in the Company, and De Blasio had to take responsability for that strategic fiasco (buying an almost bk Company at the peak of valuation, in a sector that would become crowded, competitive and commoditized).

    I would have loved to see the appointment of a CEO with a stronger background in the sector, but the move did not surprise me. We’ll see which direction (if any) the new CEO will give this Company – their bundled offering being a mix that hasn’t really worked so far.

  • Rob Powell says:

    I don’t really have a feeling for what the right background the CEO should have here, so I didn’t comment on it. Yes, given that the CDN plan is essentially defunct, they need a new one and it’s not yet clear what it should be.

  • Rob Powell says:

    One could argue that like Terremark, Internap might want to find a way into cloud computing…

    • Paolo says:

      If we look at Terremark, their strategy was: open more data centers in key markets to take advantage of strong demand (they are already proceeding with the second phase of Culpepper…), and the acquisition of Data Return added a new revenue stream (and moved the business model away from just colo). Right or wrong, they were in a corner (colo in a secondary market, terrible balance sheet…) and reacted positively.
      Coming back to Internap, it seems there’s always a missing piece of the puzzle: it has colocation, high quality Internet transit and content delivery network services, they also added managed service… still we feel they need something else to succeed.
      My two cents: had the Company focused on IP and colo, we’d see a different share price today…

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