Equinix CEO's Sudden Resignation Leaves Questions Unanswered

He's guilty of "exercising poor judgment with respect to an employee matter," the company said.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 29, 2018

2 Min Read
Resignation Letter

**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in December.**

Equinix has revealed very few details about the departure of its CEO.

The interconnection and colocation provider announced last week that Steve Smith was leaving the organization. Smith resigned Jan. 19 after what Equinix described as “exercising poor judgment with respect to an employee matter.”

The company has been quick to assure investors and customers that the move resulted from a personal issue and not from strategic differences.

Smith told the Mercury News that stepping down was a “difficult decision.” He didn’t clarify what prompted his resignation and said he had respect for his former employer and colleagues.


Equinix’s Steve Smith

Executive chairman Peter Van Camp assumes the role of interim CEO. Van Camp has been executive chairman since 2007. He served as CEO from 2000 to 2007. He recognized the 11 years Smith spent at the helm of Equinix. Smith began work with Equinix in 2007 after serving as vice president of HP services.

“The board gave this matter the deepest consideration and recognizes the many contributions Steve made over the past 11 years to achieve the global scale, reach and market leadership the company enjoys today. He has worked hard to grow and sustain the business, and we greatly appreciate his efforts,” Van Camp said. “I also want to emphasize that this action was not related to the company’s operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong. The board and leadership team remain fully committed to the strategy.”

Equinix emphasized in its Jan. 19 SEC filing that operational or strategic differences did not contribute to Smith’s departure. The company is beginning a search for a new chief executive.

“The company is well-positioned strategically, with tremendous depth at the leadership level and a passionate team that will guide the business and continue to drive the performance of the company,” Van Camp said. “With our 2018 strategy and plan securely in place, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the role Equinix plays in helping companies evolve from their traditional business practices to the digital world by globally interconnecting with the people, locations, cloud services and data critical to their operations.”

Equinix last week expanded its relationship with AT&T, which made its Switched Ethernet Network on Demand service available to Equinix data centers. That comes half a year after Equinix bought $3.6 billion worth of Verizon data centers.

Learn about the company’s recently announced Internet Exchange service.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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