According to the report, activist investor Jana Partners is engaged in settlement discussions with Zendesk, a cloud-based customer support software business, that might lead to CEO resignation.
After failing to find a buyer, Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) said last week that it intends to continue as a standalone public business.
According to the Journal, Zendesk and Jana were negotiating a “truce” in which Mikkel Svane would stand aside as Zendesk’s CEO. The settlement might potentially involve changes to the board, including the departure of Zendesk’s lead independent director and head of the board’s remuneration committee, Carl Bass, according to the Journal’s story. People with direct knowledge of the situation were quoted in the Journal.
One of Zendesk’s most strident critics is Jana, which has a 2.5 percent investment in the company. According to a statement made earlier this year, the company’s board was “out of touch with shareholder objectives. Zendesk’s purchase of Survey Monkey’s parent company, Momentive Global, was also rejected by it (MNTV).
The Journal said that the negotiations between Zendesk and Jana are still ongoing and that the executives may still preserve their positions in the software business. These sources told the Journal that if negotiations don’t break down, a deal could be finalized within weeks.
Wednesday’s premarket trade saw Zendesk’s shares rise 2.6%. They had plunged by more than 45% as of Wednesday’s close.