Bidzos is back as VeriSign chief, at least for now

VeriSign’s founder and original chief executive, Jim Bidzos, was named interim chief executive and chairman of the board, according to an SEC filing Thursday. He replaces William Roper, who resigned Monday after just over a year as CEO and after five years as a director.

Roper’s resignation was voluntary, Bidzos told analysts today on a conference call. “I don’t think it was fair to have him around while we were looking for a replacement, so he chose to leave.”

Roper replaced Stratton Sclavos, who abruptly resigned in May 2007 for undisclosed reasons after 12 years as CEO. Sclavos had embarked on an acquisition spree that spent nearly $1.5 billion since 2004 acquiring companies.

In November, Roper indicated that the company intended to sell some parts of its business that it saw as peripheral to its original Internet focus. He also instigated the repurchase of more than 28 percent of the company’s shares outstanding. VeriSign’s shares are up 17 percent since then, not bad in an otherwise down market. They fell 48 cents, or 1.3 percent, Thursday to $36.74.

 

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