Plot thickens as CyrusOne jumps on CEO merry-go-round again

29 July 2021 | Antony Savvas

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Data centre REIT CyrusOne has changed its CEO again, after the firm said the company's board had “separated” from Bruce Duncan as short-lived president and chief executive officer.

No exact reason has been given for Duncan's “resignation” as a director of the company yesterday, the same day the company posted its quarterly results.

Company founder and former CEO Dave Ferdman has now been appointed as interim president and CEO of CyrusOne. Ferdman will serve in those roles until a successor is found and will remain a member of the board.

In January 2020, the firm laid off staff including then European head Tesh Durvasula. In February last year, CyrusOne CEO Gary Wojtaszek stepped down from the role and Durvasula was appointed interim CEO.

Durvasula wanted the role permanently but CyrusOne appointed Bruce Duncan in June 2020 instead.

Lynn Wentworth, chair of the CyrusOne board, said: “Dave co-founded CyrusOne, was our CEO until 2010, and has remained continuously engaged with the company in various roles, including serving on the board since 2013.

“Dave will lead our company forward towards achieving its plan and objectives during this transition period. On behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank Bruce Duncan for his leadership over the past year and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

In a mixed bag of results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2021, revenue was $284.6 million compared to $256.4 million for the same period in 2020, an increase of 11%.

Net income was $7.4 million for the quarter, compared to net income of $45 million in the same period in 2020 - a decrease of 84%.

To help put that lower bottom line into context, net income for the second quarter this time included a $1.4 million gain associated with a change in fair value on the undesignated portion of the company’s net investment hedge, compared to a $13.9 million loss in the second quarter of 2020.

But, additionally, in the second quarter of 2020, the company had a $50.4 million gain on its equity investment in GDS Holdings.

Net operating income for the latest quarter was $162.8 million, compared to $157.4 million in the same period in 2020 - an increase of 3%. Adjusted EBITDA was $141.9 million compared to $136.8 million last time, an increase of 4%.

The company has confirmed that Duncan's “board separation” has nothing to do with the company's financial performance, so the plot thickens.