Comverse Needs a World-Class Chairman

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 |  About: Comverse Tech Inc # (CMVT)
by: Shlomo Greenberg

The current CEO of Comverse (NASDAQ:CMVT), Zeev Bregman, spoke to reporters last week. The problem with Comverse is that it simply lacks a serious, world-class chairman. It can afford to bring in someone of repute who will earn the respect of Wall Street and signal that the company is making a fresh start.

This should not be taken as a slight against Bregman, whom I think is more than capable of taking the lead. The role of chairman, whether active or not, is predominantly psychological in nature, and I have no doubt that many people would be happy to be offered such a post.

Comverse is still a leader in its field and it still has $2.4 billion in cash. If they can’t find anyone suitable in Israel (which would be odd), there are plenty of potential candidates elsewhere. The people who were appointed to the board earlier this month are all excellent managers, but with all due respect, it does not look to me like the new chairman, Mark Terrell, is the man to replace Kobi Alexander.

Incidentally, Comverse, Ness (NASDAQ:NSTC) and Teva (NYSE:TEVA) all have one thing in common. The longer their stock prices mark time, the more likely they are to find themselves becoming acquisition targets.

CMVT 1-year chart:

Published originally by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006. Republished on Seeking Alpha with full permission.