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Vlad Shmunis Out as RingCentral CEO, Replaced by HPE Vet

The company also released on Monday new products and its second quarter financial results.

Claudia Adrien

August 7, 2023

4 Min Read
C-Suite shuffle at RingCentral impacts Vlad Shmunis
yakiniku/Shutterstock

RingCentral announced late Monday that Vlad Shmunis, who founded the company 20 years ago, will no longer serve as its CEO but will become executive chairman of the tech firm. His successor is Tarek Robbiati, a relatively new member of the RingCentral board of directors.

Robbiati comes to the RingCentral C-suite after being chief financial officer and EVP of finance and strategy of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. His appointment at RingCentral is effective Aug. 28, and Robbiati will remain a member of the company’s board.

In addition, RingCentral announced that Mo Katibeh, president and chief operating officer, will step down. He will remain a special advisor to RingCentral and will help with a “smooth transition,” officials said.

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RingCentral’s Tarek Robbiati

“The world and how we communicate is rapidly changing and this is an exciting time for RingCentral,” Robbiati said. “We are at the forefront of our industry, developing differentiated, cutting-edge solutions to meet the emerging needs of our customers. My focus will be on our customers and delivering operational excellence and sustainable, profitable growth. I am honored to take on the CEO role and deliver value to all our stakeholders.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in July.

Vlad Shmunis and the New Role

As executive chairman, Shmunis will drive the company’s strategic product vision and innovation.

Under Shmunis’ tenure, RingCentral has become a cloud communications powerhouse, with more than $2.2 billion in annual revenue, 400,000 customers, 15,000 channel partners and approximately 4,000 full time employees, officials said.

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RingCentral’s Vlad Shmunis

“When I founded RingCentral two decades ago, we were a tiny, unfunded startup with an ambitious mission to improve how businesses around the world communicate internally and with their customers,” Shmunis said. “From those humble beginnings, we have become a recognized leader in our space and one of the largest pure-play SaaS companies in the world. My plan is to stay engaged in the company, while dedicating most of my time to innovation, product development and long-term strategy. I am excited for the road ahead.”

As for Robbiati, he is a strategic and financial operator known for his leadership roles within the telecom, media, technology and financial services industries with 30 years of experience, officials said. He was instrumental in driving the pivot of the HPE portfolio to higher-growth, higher-margin areas and doubled annual recurring revenue while growing free cash flow significantly. Prior to HPE, Robbiati was CFO at Sprint, where he led the company’s strategic efforts to reposition the company. Before that, he held numerous leadership positions, including CEO roles at publicly listed and private companies in Australia and Hong Kong.

Financial Results

RingCentral announced the CEO transition along with its second quarter financial results.

Total revenue was $539 million for the second quarter of 2023, up from $487 million in the second quarter of 2022, representing 11% growth. Subscription revenue of $514 million increased 11% year over year and accounted for 95% of total revenue.

GAAP operating loss was $45 million, compared to $108 million in the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating income was $104 million, or 19.4% of total revenue, compared to $55 million, or 11.3% of total revenue, for the second quarter of 2022.

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RingCentral’s Sonalee Parekh

Sonalee Parekh, RingCentral’s CFO, said the company’s focus on profitability and efficiency has allowed to it to “accelerate the attainment of our near-term free cash flow goal.”

Parekh said: “We expect to generate $270 million-$290 million of adjusted, unlevered free cash flow in 2023, much earlier than previously anticipated.”

Unveiling RingCX and RingSense for Phone

Also on Monday, the company unveiled RingCX, a solution that combines RingCentral’s flagship unified communications (including message, video, phone, SMS, and fax) with contact center, plus generative AI capabilities. The result is a next generation, AI-first solution that delivers a complete native omnichannel experience and transforms customer journeys across various touchpoints, the company said.

RingCentral also announced the expansion of its artificial intelligence platform, RingSense, across its portfolio as well. Leveraging generative AI, RingSense for Phone enables organizations to turn their voice conversation data into insights that can enhance productivity and improve business outcomes, the company said.

Key features include live transcriptions and closed captions, call summaries and conversation sentiment analysis.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Claudia Adrien or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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