InfoSpace Fails to Meet Wall Street Expectations – CEO Leaves

November 15, 2010

InfoSpace INSP (NASDAQ), which was originally formed back in 1996, has gone through a number of transformations over the years.  Prior to the Dotcom bust, the company was a high flier, after the bust the firm came way back down to sea-level.  The cWilliam Lansingompany operates a number of online search services that rely on metasearch technology.  InfoSpace  primarily serves content providers and a significant portion of its business is focused on the mobile space.  Just recently, the company released its earnings for the third quarter which was disappointing and held an earnings call (Earnings Call transcript via Seeking Alpha).  Shortly after the Earnings Call its CEO, William J. Lansing stepped down after only 21 months in the position (see the 8k).  The company immediately selected William J. Ruckleshaus, a member of the firm’s board and a former CFO of AudienceScience and SVP at Expedia, to serve as the firm’s interim CEO until a successor could be found for Lansing. 

Some people have looked at Ruckleshaus’ selection as an attempt by the firm to pursue more acquisitions (sInfospace One Year stock Performance - Source: Bigcharts.comee a piece by John Cook on Seattle’s Tech Flash).  I’m not quite as optimistic as Mr. Cook.  Investors should keep a close eye on the firm and the steps Ruckleshaus takes over the next few months and also who the firm ultimately chooses to take over as the new CEO.