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Vonage Chief Steps Down Amid Plunging Shares

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April 13, 2007 -- Michael Snyder has resigned as chef executive of Vonage, the embattled Internet phone service, handing the post back to founder Jeffrey Citron, the company announced Thursday.

Snyder was named CEO about two months before Vonage went public in May 2006. Since then, shares in the company's stock have fallen 80 percent below its initial public offering  price, losing as much $2 billion in the past 10 months.

Last month, the company was found guilty of infringing on patents held by Verizon and barred from taking on new customers. The decision is currently under appeal, a process that could take up to a year and a half, company officials said. In the meantime, Vonage can sign up new subscribers, but must pay a 5.5 percent royalty on revenue and post a $66 million bond to cover the jury-awarded damages to Verizon.

This week, the company announced several cost-cutting measures aimed at boosting shareholder value, including plans to reduce marketing expenses by $110 million.

"We are taking a number of measures to reduce our costs and operating expenses," Citron said in a statement. "We remain focused on improving our competitive position in the marketplace."

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