OCZ Technology announced that founder and CEO Ryan Petersen resigns effective immediately. The board appointed Alex Mei, who joined the company in 2004 and serves as OCZ's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, as interim-CEO.
Petersen was one of OCZ's key players and guided the company through many different ventures since the company was founded in August 2002. Originally there was some controversy as the company used shady marketing practices (such as giving the impression that they were a much larger company than they really were), they had a bad reputation, Petersen has a criminal record. These factors didn't stop Petersen, he persevered and turned the company into a well-known name among computer enthusiasts. The most popular product from OCZ was the company's memory lineup, but over the years they also dabbled in cooling products, video cards, USB drives, peripherals, laptops, and power supplies. In recent years the company prepared itself for an IPO and axed all underperforming product segments to fully focus on the merging solid state disk market. The memory lineup was phased out, only the power supplies and a handful of flash media products were allowed to remain in OCZ's product inventory.
Why Petersen is leaving OCZ is unknown but analysts speculate it could be due to the company's lack-luster financial results. Bloomberg cites Gary Mobley, an analyst at Benchmark Co. in New York who believes "the board has grown tired of the shortcomings". Gobley points out that OCZ's cash position fell from $92.3 million in the February period to $43.2 million in the quarter that ended in May. Bright Side of News heard a similar tale from its sources, the site believes OCZ's recent missteps, the poor fiscal performance and the collapsed acquisition by Seagate resulted in the board ousting Petersen.
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCZ), announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Alex Mei, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer as Interim CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Mei's appointment follows the Board's acceptance of Ryan Petersen's resignation as President, CEO and a director of the Company. Mr. Mei will also maintain his current responsibilities as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer until a permanent CEO has been selected.
In regards to his decision to resign, Mr. Petersen said, "I am very pleased to have transitioned the Company from a niche developer, manufacturer, and seller of high-performance DRAM memory modules to a global leader in solid-state storage solutions."
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ryan for his vision and his service to OCZ," said Adam Epstein, OCZ's lead independent director. "Though it perhaps goes without saying, there wouldn't be an OCZ without Ryan, and his contributions to the Company and to the DRAM and SSD industries are far too numerous to mention. We wish him and his family the very best for the future."
In moving forward with Alex Mei, Mr. Epstein said, "We are fortunate to have someone of Alex Mei's caliber to step in and lead OCZ as Interim CEO. Alex is not only a proven executive who has made significant contributions and provided outstanding leadership to OCZ as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, his tenure with the company since 2004 helps to ensure continuity until a permanent CEO is hired. Alex has the full confidence of the Board and is well respected by colleagues, employees, and the industry alike. He's ideally suited to oversee the continued execution of OCZ's strategic plans during this interim period."
In response to today's announcement, Mr. Mei said, "I'm honored that the Board has selected me to lead OCZ on an interim basis. We have dedicated and talented employees, extremely competitive technology, and product roadmaps that we believe will enable us to continue to provide industry-leading solid state storage solutions to our growing customer base. As one of the longest tenured employees, I've been fortunate to have had a front-row seat to what OCZ's amazing employees are capable of achieving for nearly a decade. I'm confident that our team will continue to execute the core strategies we've previously communicated to investors."
OCZ shares fell 8.74 percent to $4.46 in after-hours trading.