Blackmore to Retire from ShoreTel
ShoreTel announced that its CEO, Peter Blackmore, intends to retire. Blackmore was hired as the CEO in December of 2010. He will remain on as CEO while the firm conducts the search for his replacement. Last time, the search took five months.
Blackmore’s biggest move at ShoreTel during his term was the acquisition of M5. It was a sizeable, bold, and strategic acquisition. Blackmore has spoken about the importance of the cloud, and determined it made more sense to buy than build. M5 was quite the jewel to acquire. It owned/developed its own technology, held a high ARPU, and was recently recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for UCaaS. As of 2012, all of the major premises vendors have a cloud play.
But it was a lot to bite off. ShoreTel already had an aggressive R&D roadmap as it transitioned its appliance SMB voice solution into an enterprise-ready UC solution. ShoreTel was already busy integrating its Agito acquisition from 2010. M5 itself, was a growing business in need of cash investment (M5 founder, Dan Hoffman, stated his motivation for selling was M5’s need for more cash) and then aligning the two businesses required more cash. Earlier this month, ShoreTel announced its new Dock endpoint peripheral.
Blackmore had earlier been the CEO of UTStarcom. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at Unisys and HP's Customer Solutions and Enterprise Systems groups. Last November, Blackmore was named one of CRN’s Top 100 Executives in the IT Channel for 2012 in the Innovators category.
Several executives have left ShoreTel, including Joe Vitalone, Jeff Valentine, Don Girskis, and Tim Gaines.
ShoreTel board member Chuck Kissner, who was recently appointed Chairman said, “we are grateful that Peter will continue in his role during this transition period. We intend to keep moving full speed ahead with our near-term plans to launch new innovative products and services and to continue to execute on our combined premise and cloud strategy.”