Vonage to get new CEO

Vonage is about to get a new CEO as it secures debt financing and gets its financial house in order, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Internet phone company Vonage will name a new chief executive as early as next week, according to a story published in The Wall Street Journal Friday.

The newspaper cited people familiar with the situation. The news comes as Vonage secures funding to buy back some of its debt. On Thursday the company said it has a letter of commitment from the hedge fund Silver Point Finance to provide up to $215 million in private debt financing.

Vonage will use the cash, plus some of its own, to repurchase the remainder of its $253 million in convertible notes, the Journal story said. Vonage needed to raise money for the repurchase by December 16 or risk bankruptcy, according to the article.

Jeffrey Citron, who founded Vonage and stepped down as head of the company in early 2006, returned as interim CEO in April 2007 . Over the past year, Citron has helped guide the company through a series of patent disputes and worries of bankruptcy.

Now that Vonage has settled its legal disputes and it's regained its financial footing, Citron is looking for someone else to take over the day-to-day management of the company, the story said.

But even with a new chief executive in charge, Vonage still faces many challenges. The company, which pioneered the Internet telephony market, faces stiff competition from cable operators now offering phone service as well as the phone companies themselves who sell cellular services that can also be used as wired phone replacements.

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About the author

Marguerite Reardon has been a CNET News reporter since 2004, covering cell phone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate, as well as the ongoing consolidation of the phone companies. E-mail Maggie.

 

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