Outgoing Inabox chief taking time to ‘grieve’ as shares continue to tumble
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Outgoing Inabox Group CEO Damian Kay says his time as a public CEO is not over, as what’s left of the company he founded 15 years ago lost another 30 per cent of its share value on Monday.
The telco told investors on Thursday last week that Mr Kay had stepped down from his role as CEO and managing director.
It’s now a shell named IAB Holdings (ASX:IAB) after the company gained shareholder approval to change its name earlier this month.
Mr Kay founded Inabox’s predecessor Telcoinabox in 2003 and has been a major shareholder ever since.
He told Stockhead that while he had been “effectively made redundant”, his time as the CEO of a public company may not be over.
“I am a bit numb to be honest; it has been the past 15 years of my life,” he said. “It is bittersweet when you sell your baby.”
“It has been a really full on few months trying to get the sale over the line and I am going to take a little break but one of the options is being the CEO of a public tech company.
“I’ve done my apprenticeship, I’ve cut my teeth taking Inabox public.
“And I am also very passionate about the small guy in competition, and being a champion of the small guy in the industry, so that’s why I am thinking my time might not be finished.
“I have had a few approaches. Nothing I am seriously considering at the moment but I can’t not work, I’m passionate and driven and all those things.”
Mr Kay said he would take plenty of lessons from his time as Inabox chief.
“I am taking time to grieve and say goodbye in my own head,” he said. “What’s important to me is what I’ve learned and what I would do differently.
“I’ve been able to steer the business from 36c to over a dollar, which was a pretty damn good result. I take a lot of learnings, the good and the disappointing.
“The Hostworks acquisition was disappointing. We had acquired quite well up until that point. It was a bit of a poisoned chalice.
“One of the things I’ve learned from that is that if you have your organic growth engine absolutely pumping, bringing in $80k a month, before taking those big steps, then it doesn’t matter as much.”
He also told Stockhead that he will be watching MNF Group with interest.
“They have been hammered and lost 20 to 30 per cent of their market cap. It will be interesting to see how they integrate. They have got some good opportunities ahead of them and it will be interesting to see what learnings they take.”
IAB’s rollercoaster year
Inabox lost nearly 60 per cent of its value late last year after a cloud business it acquired, Hostworks, lost a wave of business.
In June, takeover scuttlebutt renewed interest in the company. By August, fellow small cap telco 5G Networks (ASX:5GN) had picked up Hostworks and Anittel, another business Inabox owned, for $5.7 million.
And finally in this month, MNF Group, owner of MyNetFone, took over Inabox in full for $34.5 million.