Company: Demand Media
CEO Since: 2011
Return During Tenure: -62%
Demand Media’s (DMD) co-founder and CEO Richard Rosenblatt took his company public in January 2011. The stock was priced at $17, which was above the $14 to $16 range. On its first day of trading, the return was about 33%.
Since then, though, shareholders have had little to cheer about.
Basically, the focus of Demand Media is on aggregating websites and leveraging online advertising to monetize things. But the business model has had some glaring problems.
First of all, there has been a heavy reliance on the Google’s (GOOG) search engine. But since the algorithms change from time to time, the impact can be severe on DMD. In fact, this happened again in Q2 as revenues grew at only 9% to $101.1 million compared to a 17% rise in the first quarter.
And the biggest problem is that Rosenblatt has not been proactive with new trends. Keep in mind that he’s been slow to move into categories like e-commerce, mobile and subscriptions.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.