Ryan Wuerch out as Motricity CEO | Mobile Industry | Mobile Entertainment

Ryan Wuerch out as Motricity CEO

Ryan Wuerch out as Motricity CEO
Tim Green


Industry / August 22nd 2011 at 6:18PM

End of ten year reign after dismal financials from US data services provider. And he's being sued.

Wuerch founded the company in 2001 and has been its CEO since then, but now he's gone and COO Jim Smith will serve as interim CEO till a successor is found.

It's all got very messy for Motricity in the last few weeks.

Earlier this month said it had a clear out of senior execs and removed the high profile Jim Ryan as chief strategy and marketing and development officer.

This came on the back of awful Q2 figures that showed the company’s sales at $34.6 million, against estimates of $37.1 million by analysts.

Then it revised revenues for the current quarter to $31.5 million – around $14 million less than it had been expecting.

You think that's bad.

Motricity is also facing legal action from disgruntled shareholders. Law firm Robbins Umeda has commenced an investigation into 'possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations' by directors.

The case focuses on whether Wuerch and other execs issued improper statements to investors designed to artificially inflate the value of the company. 

It also alleges that the same officers engaged in a coordinated insider trading scheme to reap over $11 million in illicit proceeds from stock options sold while the company traded at inflated prices.

Whatever the truth of all that, the more banal reality seems to be that Motricity simply struggled to find a business model that worked in the app store era as well as it did in the carrier deck/personalisation era, when it was one of the world's foremost content delilvery specialists.

Its big vision was for 'network as a service' - selling bundled data services (ads, messaging, alerts etc) to brands on behalf of operators.