Ok, you could say the two are unrelated. But long time Citrix CEO Mark Templeton (he joined Citrix in 1995 and became CEO in 2001) just announced he will retire from the company as soon as a successor is found.

This comes just a month after activist investor Elliott Management disclosed it had acquired 7.1 percent of publicly traded Citrix, and called for the company to rethink its cost structure after “years of layered complexity and expenses. "

Elliott had also called for Citrix to consider “strategic alternatives" for its lucrative workplace product lines such as GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC and NetScaler. It’s something that the company will undoubtedly have to do since Elliott has not only gained another .4 percent of the company this month but also put its “chief agitator” on Citrix’s board.

Another director — of Elliott’s liking — will be appointed to the board as well, though this one will have to be approved by the remaining directors.

Hard to Say Goodbye

This will no doubt be sad news for many in the Citrix community, which holds Templeton in awe as an innovator.

He’s grown the company from a $15 million organization with one product to one that is worth more than $3 billion (2014 stat) and offers more than 23 products, many of which have grown to common workplace brands.

Learning Opportunities

Beyond the familiar GoToMeeting, GoToAssist and GoToMyPC, Citrix also offers XenMobile, ShareFileNetScaler and many others which Gartner continuously rates as Leaders in their respective Magic Quadrants.

Last Spring I watched as Templeton previewed more than a handful of other solutions at the Citrix Synergy user conference. It was exhilarating and almost exhausting, in a good way — more like Willy Wonka showing off new types of candy than Donald Trump talking about all of his cash.

One thing was exceedingly clear, the Citrix Community loves Templeton and all he brings to the table. He’ll be a tough act to follow by anyone’s measure, maybe even Elliott’s.

And for what it’s worth, Citrix isn’t Elliott’s only tech target, there’s also EMC and VMWare.

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