Ever since Carl Icahn finished taking full control of XO Holdings (news, filings), some sort of shift in leadership has been inevitable. With Grivner gone since May, and the chairman unlikely to sell the company for a year at least, there remains work to be done. But would they seek outside blood in an effort to rejuvenate the company? Or promote from within and give a ‘steady as she goes’ signal?
Well, the latter seems to be the case. The board has appointed the current CFO Laura Thomas as interim CEO. Ms. Thomas took over as CFO in 2009, and now has Icahn’s blessing to run the whole shebang. She will “will drive the company’s strategic focus on IP and data solutions, focusing on excellence in customer experience while aligning the company’s resources toward continued operational efficiencies” which is the long way to say they’ll probably keep on doing what they’re currently doing and eschew any big new investments.
The fact that it is an interim position and that she retains her CFO responsibilities leaves open the possibility that Icahn might still move from defense to offense at some point by bringing in additional muscle, but it is just as easy to envision Thomas will still be holding the reins next fall when the company could go up for sale without having to pay out anything to the former minority shareholders.
Or who knows, maybe she’s ready to rock and roll… Never say never.
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