Meta Group global CEO and president Fred Amoroso has quit the analyst firm after two years, citing irreconcilable differences with the board and particularly Meta co-founder and current chairman Dale Kutnick.
Known for his straight talking and direct manner, Amoroso is understood to have been at odds with Kutnick over the future direction of the analyst firm for some months, leading to a boardroom showdown that will now see him "pursue other interests" according to a statement from Meta Group.
"Fred has guided the company through a difficult and uncertain economy over the last two years and we wish him much continued success as he pursues the next phase of his career," the statement said.
Amoroso's less sanitized version of events, sent to Meta staff, proved more illuminating: "I have been honest with you in all of my communications, and even when answering a question that was difficult for me to answer like "are we having another layoff" or are the "rumours about selling the company true", I told you I was not able to answer them and the reasons why. I tried to be as open and candid as I possibly could - I won't stop that now.
"I am sure most all of you are aware of the rumours that the chairman and I are in significant disagreement over a number of different things and yes, those rumours are true. The disagreement has increased over the last few months. As a result I find myself in a position where it is better for someone else to lead Meta Group," the note from Amoroso said.
Amoroso has not been completely banished however, with a Meta statement saying he "will assist in transition matters for the next several months to ensure a smooth and orderly transition".
Meta Group managing director for Asia Pacific, Mary Ann Maxwell said Amoroso's resignation had come as a surprise to the company and that his leadership had proved pivotal in guiding and transforming Meta through the difficult economic times of the last two years.
"I have a lot of respect for Fred's leadership and guidance both personally and professionally and I will miss [him]. He knew how to run a real business he knew what he was doing and he brought [in] systems and discipline when it was needed – and we are grateful for that. He made progress in changing the company at a time when it was needed… we have a right to feel good about that," Maxwell said.
Meta will now be run by a special operating committee chaired by executive vice president and former board member Howard Rubin, assisted by senior vice president Herb van Hook acting as COO and interim president.
Kutnick remains as chairman of the Meta's board of directors, and will act as its representative on the special operating committee.