March 23, 2007

Great news for Openwave

Dave Peterschmidt is out as CEO of Openwave, and this is a very good thing. Even better, the company is being shopped. Best news: Jerry Held is on the committee doing the shopping. Not that I agree with Jerry on everything, but on the whole he’s pretty astute.

Openwave will probably find a buyer at a decent price. Dave’s bad, but he doesn’t completely destroy companies; there should still be some value there.

January 22, 2007

Harbinger Capital Partners vs. Openwave Systems

There’s a lovely proxy battle going on between Openwave Systems and investor group Harbinger Capital Partners. Openwave management , as the incumbents, are pursuing the boring route, with damage control, double-talk, legalese, and so on. Harbinger’s take on things is livelier.

I don’t know much about the details, but I’ll say this — anybody who wants to oust Dave Peterschmidt from a CEO job is probably on the right track. He’s the guy who ran Sybase into the ground, he didn’t have much of a resume before he got the opportunity to do that, and he hasn’t had very good results subsequently either.

If they can find a way to dump Peterschmidt while keeping Jerry Held, who’s the other management-slate board member up for reelection, so much the better. The Harbinger link above suggests that they’ve already had the same idea.

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