ShoreTel Stays Inside for New CEO

The UC vendor taps ShoreTel executive Don Joos to be president and CEO, replacing Peter Blackmore, who is retiring.

ShoreTel has named a new president and CEO, three months after Peter Blackmore announced he was retiring from the unified communications technology vendor.

The company on Aug. 8 named Don Joos, who has been with ShoreTel since 2011 and most recently was senior vice president of business operations, to replace Blackmore. The board of directors announced his hiring the same day the company released its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results.

“After an extensive search, it became clear that Don is uniquely qualified to fully mobilize the company in its drive to be the leading unified communications provider,” board Chairman Chuck Kissner said in a statement. “His achievements, knowledge of the industry, vision, respect of his peers and employees, and commitment to the company’s strategy set him apart.”

Joos came to ShoreTel after nine years as a company vice president at Avaya and other stints with Nortel Communications Solutions, Williams Communication Solutions and Marshalls. He first joined ShoreTel as vice president of global services before spending the past year as senior vice president of business operations, where he oversaw about 50 percent of the company’s operations, managing its engineering/R&D, product management, global support and services, IT, quality and operations units.

He said some of his efforts will focus on continuing to more closely tie ShoreTel’s cloud and on-premises efforts.

“ShoreTel now has the opportunity to extend its leadership position by fully integrating its cloud offering across its suite of unified communications products,” Joos said in a statement. “With some of the highest customer satisfaction in the business, world-class employees and a strong track record of innovation, the company’s prospects are unlimited.”

Under Blackmore’s direction, ShoreTel in February 2012 bought M5 Networks for $146 million. The acquisition gave ShoreTel a cloud-based UC solution to complement its on-premises products. In addition, it allowed the company to expand its reach beyond the midmarket and into the smaller-business market as well as into some enterprises.

"I am confident that the company is well-positioned in both the cloud and premise unified communications markets," Blackmore said in a statement when announcing his retirement in May. "With recent changes to our organizational and cost structure, we can now scale with a model positioned for profitability, enhancing our objective of delivering improved shareholder value."

During his tenure, the company’s revenues almost doubled, Kissner said at the time. The company continued to see strong growth in the last fiscal quarter. ShoreTel officials reported that revenue in the quarter was a record $85.6 million, a 9 percent jump over the same period last year. Net income was $3.4 million, compared with a $200,000 loss in 2012.

For the entire 2013 fiscal year, ShoreTel’s sales were $313.5 million, a 27 percent increase over 2012, though the company saw a full-year net loss of $1.6 million. Blackmore said that revenues from ShoreTel’s Sky cloud offering were up 35 percent over the same period last year, and that on-premises revenues were strong. In addition, the company added almost 1,200 new customers during the quarter, he said.