SeaChange Founder And CEO Styslinger Out

Bill Styslinger, SeaChange International's founder, chairman and CEO, will retire effective immediately, the company announced Wednesday.

SeaChange board member Raghu Rau, a strategic advisor specializing in global marketing, business strategy and venture capital for high-technology companies, will assume responsibilities as interim CEO.

Thomas Olson, former CEO of Katz Media Group and of National Cable Media -- and a former SeaChange lead director who currently serves on the company's board of directors -- has been named chairman.

SeaChange's board has been engaged in an evaluation of strategic alternatives. The company said Wednesday that, after "an extensive review of strategic alternatives," the board has decided that it is in the best interest of shareholders to continue as a standalone, publicly traded company. The company is focused on "significantly improving and streamlining operations," and the board will continue to evaluate alternatives for certain non-core businesses, SeaChange said.

SeaChange, a leading provider of video-on-demand and advertising solutions to TV operators worldwide, announced the board would immediately engage a search firm to identify a permanent CEO.

"We would like to express our appreciation to Bill Styslinger for founding SeaChange and leading the company to become a global leader in multiscreen video solutions and growing it into a software focused, profitable, debt-free company," Olson said in a statement. "I am also pleased to welcome Raghu Rau in his new role and believe his proven strategic and operational leadership experience in the technology industry and expertise in wireless technologies and network convergence ideally position him to lead the transition of SeaChange to the next level."

Rau said in a statement, "Having been on the board for more than a year and witnessing the exciting pipeline of new, innovative products, I am very optimistic about the future prospects for SeaChange. My immediate focus will be to act with a sense of urgency to drive shareholder value by focusing on improving financial performance, operational excellence and delivering exciting, high-quality, next-generation products to our customers."

SeaChange is scheduled to announce fiscal 2012 third quarter financial results on Dec. 8. The company currently expects to report third quarter revenue of $52 million to $53 million, within it previously provided guidance. SeaChange anticipates earnings of $0.10 to $0.11 per share excluding expenses related to stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets, restructuring, strategic alternatives and acquisitions.

In June 2010, SeaChange reached an agreement with its largest shareholder, Ramius International, under which SeaChange increased the size of its board from six to eight members and appointed two new directors: Rau and Edward Terino, president of GET Advisory Services, a strategic and financial management consulting firm.

A year ago, Ramius urged SeaChange to re-evaluate its decision to not sell off its money-losing Servers and Storage business.