WebMD CEO out after a year
WebMD's Tuesday earnings call included a lot of unanswered questions, such as why Cavan Redmond, who started as CEO on May 31, 2012, is no longer with the company. Execs were unwilling to provide what chairman Martin Wygod called "more color" about the departure. SVP strategic and corporate development David Schlanger will step in as interim CEO until they find someone else to fill the spot on a permanent basis.
Redmond, who joined the company from Pfizer, stepped into a vacancy left by longtime CEO Wayne Gattinella, who resigned in February, 2012 amid declining pharma revenues and an aborted scheme to sell the company. Redmond weathered several tough quarters, culminating in a December announcement that the company would cut 14% of its staff positions, while working to build out WebMD's mobile offering.
Tuesday's call contained suggestions that the company was on the hunt for partnerships and even acquisitions moving forward, despite a quiet two or three years on the M&A front. Wygod kept it vague regarding timing and opportunity.
First quarter revenue was $112.8 million for the quarter, up from $106.9 million for the same period last year. Contributing to this jump was a leap in public portal advertising to $93.4 million, compared to $87.8 million for the same period last year.
Execs said a tweak to the Google algorithm helped goose visits to the WebMD site, which was counterbalanced by fewer visits to its other properties, with 34% of traffic coming from US mobile devices, and 20% of that traffic from tablets.