iXL has named Christopher Formant as president and chief executive officer, as of 1 February. Formant, 49, who most recently led PricewaterhouseCoopers’ highly regarded global banking consulting practice, was also elected to the iXL board of directors.
The current CEO, Bertram Ellis, Jr., 47, will remain the chairman of the board of iXL, focusing on business development and the monetization of the iXL Ventures portfolio.
“Chris is a tremendous leader whose skill in running a large, professional services organization will take iXL to the next level,” said Bertram Ellis. “He knows our industry, and he is an expert in financial services consulting and CRM, in particular.
“He has successfully grown large organizations to world-class levels, and is considered one of the top consultants in the world. He has a superb track record of developing and implementing leading-edge solutions and recruiting and energizing teams to perform at their peak. We are all very pleased to have Chris lead iXL.”
Formant joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1993. His positions there included global banking consulting leader and Americas banking industry chairman with predecessor firm Coopers & Lybrand. Prior to moving into the consulting industry, Formant was executive vice president of MBNA America and MNC Financial.
Final step in turnaround
The announcement of Christopher Formant as iXL’s new president and CEO represents the last of the company’s major actions to effect its turnaround. During the fourth quarter, iXL completed its financial and organizational restructuring; reduced its expenses by approximately half; spun off or closed several offices; and focused its business on its largest enterprise services, financial services, retail, and travel industry clients.
iXL also received $20 million from ProAct Technologies Corp. for the rights to acquire up to 10% of iXL’s interest in ProAct; amended and renewed its $50 million working capital facility; and put in place an innovative offshore development partnership with HCL Perot Systems (HPS), whereby iXL sold 1 million shares of iXL stock for $3 per share to HPS. The company also reiterated its goal to reach EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) profitability by early 2001. iXL ended the year with a cash balance of approximately $50 million.
“iXL has completed a remarkable turnaround,” Christopher Formant said. “The company’s cash position appears solid, and I believe we can become profitable very quickly. iXL is positioned to excel in the dynamic consulting marketplace with its strong Fortune 500 client relationships, world-class solutions, strong alliance partners, access to offshore development and implementation resources, and a successful venture capital arm.
“My intention is to build a highly cost-effective competitor with the best New Economy talent and energy mixed with Old Economy domain knowledge, low-cost offshore resources and Big 5-type implementation skill.”
Formant also announced his plan to personally purchase approximately 1.5 million shares of iXL common stock. As part of an announcement on December 21, 2000, iXL temporarily opened the stock-purchasing window for senior management, company directors and employees to purchase iXL stock on the open market through the end of December 2000. During that period, senior management, company directors and employees purchased 773,300 shares of iXL at an average price of $1.21. This was the maximum number of shares purchasable under company policy and SEC restrictions.
iXL helps companies use the power of emerging technologies and advanced business strategy to build stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers, employees and business partners. The company has done this successfully for some of the world’s leading companies, including AIG, BellSouth, British Airways, Chase, CitiCorp, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, First Union, Fleet, GE, LloydsTSB, and Virgin, via its Enterprise Accounts, Travel/Transportation, Financial Services and Retail/Consumer Packaged Goods groups.