Pandemic work communications darling Zoom has unceremoniously axed the president it hired less than a year ago “without cause,” the company has confirmed in a regulatory filing.
Greg Tomb was hired as Zoom’s president in June 2022; prior to joining Zoom he was VP of sales for Google Workspace, Security and Geo Enterprise, and also spent nearly a decade at SAP in various leadership roles.
In the filing, Zoom said it had “terminated the employment” of Tomb on February 28 and this was effective from March 2.
“Mr Tomb will receive the severance benefits payable in accordance with his previously disclosed employment arrangements that are payable upon a ‘termination without cause,'” Zoom added.
Tomb’s entry into the company came at a tumultuous time for Zoom, which was seeking a way to maintain revenue growth after a 2021 that saw the company grow 326 percent compared to 2020, due in large part to the outsized role the platform earned in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, Zoom’s revenue grew by just 55 percent compared to 2021, and the company’s fiscal 2023, which just ended on January 31, “only” saw the company grow revenue by 7 percent, with most of that coming from the Enterprise division. On the online side used by consumers, revenue was down 10 percent in the fiscal year.
Zoom has been hurt by the expansion of Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, and also struggled with security issues in 2021 that hurt its reputation, causing some users to depart for those competing platforms.
Seeing as how Tomb was fired without cause [PDF], it’s likely he’s the latest to take the fall for Zoom’s disappointing earnings as he joins the ranks of the rest of the ex-Zoomies laid off last month.
It’s all about the money
When he was hired last year, Zoom said that Tomb would be responsible for overseeing the company’s go-to-market strategy and its revenue efforts, as well as helping Zoom transform “into a multi-product platform that enables communication, hybrid work, and an expanding number of business workflows.”
Of his hiring, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said at the time that Tomb had deep experience helping companies scale at critical junctures. “His strategic thinking, can-do attitude, and value of care he brings to customers make him the perfect addition to our strong leadership team,” Yuan said.
Tricky objectives for his employment, especially when, along with decreased revenue growth, the company’s total operating expenses last fiscal year ballooned from $562 million to $953 million, meaning the company operated at a net loss.
Zoom didn’t respond to our questions regarding Tomb’s termination, but told Bloomberg that it isn’t looking to find a replacement to fill the now-vacant president role, likely in a bid to save money.
In a June 2022 regulatory filing [PDF] by Zoom on Tomb’s hiring, the company said it planned to pay him a base salary of $400,000 a year, with an 8 percent annual base salary bonus, and granting of restricted stock options totaling $45 million over four years. ®