The Channel logo


By | Chris Mellor 17th December 2009 17:42

Adaptec CEO resigns

Storage co. for sale

Adaptec's CEO is resigning, and the company is up for sale.

This confirms what many people have thought would happen once Steel Partners' gained control of the board after a proxy battle. Sundi Sundresh, who became Adaptec's CEO in November 2005, then already its president, is leaving on January 4th and will be replaced by interim CEO and president John Quick, who is a managing director for activist investor Steel Partners and an Adaptec board member. Sundaresh has agreed to work as a consultant for Adaptec and assist in the sale process. It looks like an agreed resignation.

Doug Houweling, an independent board member and ex-chair of its Governance and Nominating Committee and a Steel Partners antagonist, has resigned from the board, completing what is effectively a rout of Adaptec's old guard at board and executive level.

Blackstone Advisory Partners has been retained as a financial advisor to assist in the sale of Adaptec, its assets, and operations.

In a piece of Nasdaq bureaucracy Adaptec will schedule its cancelled annual general meeting before the end of March so as to remain compliant with Nasdaq stock exchange rules. Because of that the Nominating Committee will begin a search process for potential directors.

That's the formal stuff over with, let's get on to the nitty gritty. Adaptec is toast. Jared Peters, the newly-appointed world-wide sales VP has been handed a chalice dripping with poison as the board has just sharply increased the doubts customers will have about doing business with a company that's put itself on the block.

The whole sorry Steel Partners saga has fundamentally been about Adaptec's under-performance as a business and its inability to reorganise itself and focus on a viable strategy for the future. The add-value-to-the-adapters strategy is pretty good but it is a pity it took so very long to come about.

Steel Partners came in about a year ago as the kind of investor that scents a weak and failing company with asset values that could be realised. Now, with a recession and maybe-recovery, it has got its stranglehold on Adaptec's assets and has to deliver on its strategy and make a return on its investment. ®

comment icon Read 5 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe