Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth exits

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Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth exits
Geoff Horth

Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth is leaving the company after two years at the helm after coming to a mutual agreement with the telco.

The company said in a statement that Horth and Vocus had been considering a change in leadership since the start of the year, but had decided to bring the process forward.

Vocus has already begun the search for a new chief executive, with current chief executive of wholesale and international Michael Simmons taking his place in the meantime.

Horth was previously chief executive of M2 Group before the consumer telco merged with Vocus in February 2016, when he was appointed to the top role of the newly combined company.

Eight months later, Horth survived a failed leadership spill when Vocus founder James Spenceley and former Amcom chairman Tony Grist proposed to replace Horth and conduct a formal leadership review.

Shortly afterwards, Vocus completed the $861 million acquisition of Nextgen Networks, which included the North West Cable System development project and the Australian Singapore Cable.

Vocus has had a tumultuous past few years, with share prices plummeting from $7.26 at the time of the acquisition to $2.37 at the time of writing. The company's falling share price is currently the subject of a class action from shareholders that claim Vocus allegedly was involved in “misleading and deceptive conduct” by overstating its earnings guidance for FY17. 

Vocus chairman Vaughan Bowen thanked Horth for leading the company during what he called "the most trying of circumstances."

"Geoff has served as Vocus CEO during undoubtedly the most challenging chapter in its journey to date, wrestling with the simultaneous tasks of integrating several large, complex businesses, combining different corporate cultures and while the Australian telco sector was under substantial structural upheaval, in light of the roll-out of the NBN and the exponential growth in demand for data networks," Bowen added.

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