Evoke Co-Founder To Resign
Last week, Evoke (www.evoke.com), quietly announced that its co-founder and COO, Jim LeJeal, was resigning at the end of the year. According to Evoke's latest SEC filings, LeJeal is leaving to "pursue other interests." In a phone interview Monday, Paul Berberian, Evoke's CEO, said that LeJeal's decision was personal and it was just "time to move on".
"It doesn't really change the company," said Berberian. "His spirit and soul were important to the company, in helping it to grow." LeJeal along with Berberian and CTO Todd Vernon founded Evoke (formerly Vstream) in 1998.
Berberian said that although they're looking into hiring a replacement, he believes there's "no need right now." LeJeal was in charge of sales, marketing and operations.
When asked why the company didn't issue a press release about LeJeal's departure, Berberian said the news coincided with its 10-Q SEC filing, which gets "very broad distribution".
In other company news, Evoke announced in late October that it cut 91 employees, mostly from its sales staff. "We essentially made adjustments to our sales force that was performance based," said Berberian. "It wasn't a lay off per se and not in conjunction with a broader business decision. We always evaluate [sales] performance and keep the best performers."
Berberian also stated that the cuts were throughout Evoke's sales offices around the country, not just in one region.
Despite this seemingly bad news, Evoke did beat analyst's expectations for its third quarter earnings last month. Nevertheless, Evoke's stock price closed under $2 on Monday and lost 25 percent from Friday's close.
Berberian remains positive, however, saying that Evoke hasn't changed their business plan. "We're in it for long haul," he said. "We're looking to bring value in the new communications sector and are building the business over the long-term."
Still, he recognizes that the investing climate is very different today. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that things are different now," he said. "At end of the day, companies have to turn themselves into a real business."