Crown Castle CEO Retires Amid Activist Investor Pressure, Interim CEO Appointed

Zinger Key Points
  • Crown Castle's CEO Jay Brown retires, replaced by interim CEO Anthony Melone, former EVP and CTO at Verizon.
  • Elliott Investment Management sees leadership transition as a positive step, calls for comprehensive review of Fiber business.

Crown Castle Inc CCI revealed the retirement of Jay Brown as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director, effective January 16, 2024.

The Board appointed Anthony Melone, a member of Crown Castle's Board, to serve as interim CEO until it searches for a permanent CEO. 

The transition closely follows Elliott Investment Management L.P.'s recent disclosure of a $2 billion position in the company and calling for significant changes.

In its recent letter, Elliott said that if the Crown Castle Board is unwilling to make necessary leadership changes, it will nominate a new Board.

Responding to the management change, earlier today, Elliott issued a statement stating that the leadership transition marks a step in the right direction toward a new chapter of value creation.

Meanwhile, consistent with previous statements, Elliott urged for additional significant changes and looks forward to continuing dialogue with the company's Board regarding the necessary next steps.

Elliott said, "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Company's Board regarding the necessary next steps, including a comprehensive review of the Fiber business, meaningful governance enhancements and a robust and transparent search process for Crown Castle's next CEO."

In October, Crown Castle reported third-quarter sales of $1.67 billion, which missed estimates of $1.71 billion. The company reported funds from operations of $1.77 per share, which was down from $1.85 per share on a year-over-year basis.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 85,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market.

Price Action: CCI shares are trading higher by 1.20% at $119.05 premarket on the last check Friday.

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