OpenTable's Stock Tanks After Executives Play Musical Chairs

OpenTable’s stock fell nearly $17 today to $96 a share following the release of its first-quarter results and word that the company will replace its CEO.

The online restaurant reservations company said the company’s CFO Matthew Roberts will be promoted to president and CEO and join the board on June 1. At the same time, Jeff Jordan, the company’s president and CEO, will transition to executive chairman.

In a conference call discussing first-quarter earnings, Jordan said, “I plan to have an active role. I’ve been managing Internet businesses since 1999. That’s 12 years of being in the tornado, and it’s pretty exhausting. I’ll be looking at the next challenge, but in terms of operating an Internet business, I’ve scratched that itch very well.”

Despite the management changes and stock drop, OpenTable’s revenue was pretty much in line with expectations and its earnings per share exceeded estimates. OpenTable earned $4.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenues of $33.7 million in the first quarter. Revenues were up 59 percent over the same period last year, and profits jumped by 65 percent.

The company said its two big areas of growth are mobile, which has now assisted a total of 10 million reservations, and Spotlight, which offers Groupon-like discounts at restaurants in 10 markets. On the call, Spotlight was characterized as being the company’s fastest-growing product ever. The company’s first-quarter results also include the acquisition of toptable.com, which operates internationally.

For some more perspective on Jordan, here’s an interview he did with BoomTown’s Kara Swisher in September.


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