Internap Network Services Corp (INAP) Appoints New CEO

September 13, 2016 8:01 AM EDT

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Internap Corporation (Nasdaq: INAP) announced that Peter Aquino, a 30-year technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry veteran, has been appointed president and chief executive officer and a member of the company's board of directors, effective on September 19, 2016. Mr. Aquino succeeds Michael Ruffolo, a board member who stepped in as CEO during 2015 to lead the company's customer-focused transformation. In addition, Peter J. Rogers, Jr. has been appointed to the board of directors. Following these changes, Internap's board now comprises seven directors, six of whom will be non-employee, independent directors.

Mr. Aquino joins Internap with a strong track record overseeing major expansion efforts, turnarounds and strategic partnerships and transactions at other companies in the TMT industry. Previously, he served as chairman and chief executive officer, and later as executive chairman, of Primus Telecommunications Group, Inc. (PTGi) (NYSE: PTGI). Under Mr. Aquino's leadership, PTGi expanded into an integrated telecommunications company serving consumer and business customers with voice, data, high capacity fiber and data center services in several markets around the world. PTGi's collection of global assets reached approximately $1 billion in revenue before the company achieved a successful liquidity event following several divestitures.

Prior to PTGi, Mr. Aquino was president and chief executive officer of RCN Corporation from 2004 until it was successfully taken private in 2010 for $1.2 billion. During his tenure at RCN, Mr. Aquino transformed RCN into an all-digital HDTV cable MSO in five major U.S. markets, including New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and eastern Pennsylvania. While at RCN, Mr. Aquino also created RCN Metro Fiber Inc. (now part of Lightower Fiber Networks), an advanced fiber infrastructure company.

"We are delighted to welcome Pete to Internap. We believe his experience transforming and driving growth at other companies in the TMT industry is ideal for Internap. Pete's compensation will be closely tied to Internap's performance as we look to capitalize on the opportunities in our markets," said Dan Stanzione, chairman of the Internap board of directors. "On behalf of the board, we want to thank Mike for his tireless dedication and countless contributions to Internap both as a director and as our CEO. Mike stepped in during a challenging period and stabilized the business, re-engaged employees across geographies and functions and focused the global company on its customers. Pete is grateful for the contributions that Mike has made, values his insight into both the industry and the company, and has asked Mike to help drive a smooth and effective transition. With this foundation in place, we are confident that Pete's leadership will help accelerate our growth and enhance shareholder value."

"I am excited to lead Internap at such an important time," said Mr. Aquino. "Internap is uniquely positioned to provide customers with fast, powerful and scalable internet infrastructure that offers all of the possibilities of cloud-hosted computing anchored by a global network of data centers. I believe that Internap is well-positioned to compete, and I look forward to working with the team to leverage Internap's reputation for putting customers first. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the company's transformation efforts, and I am confident in our ability to drive enhanced efficiency, profitability and growth and generate value for both customers and shareholders."

Internap also announced today that Peter J. Rogers, Jr., a former 27-year veteran of MICROS Systems, Inc., has joined the Internap board as a new independent director. Mr. Rogers is currently a principal of the Stroudwater Group, a Washington, D.C.-based strategic consulting firm, where he specializes in advising technology companies on a wide range of business functions. Mr. Rogers' appointment follows a search for new independent directors begun by Internap's board of directors.

"We are pleased to welcome Peter Rogers to the board as our newest independent director," said Dr. Stanzione. "Peter brings decades of technology industry experience in a number of key areas critical to Internap's business, including business development, marketing, product management, finance and investor relations. We look forward to benefiting from Peter's fresh perspective in the boardroom."

In connection with today's appointments, Internap affirmed that while the company remains open to value-maximizing opportunities that are in the best interests of all shareholders, the company is not engaged at this time in discussions with any party and is not actively pursuing transaction alternatives to organic growth.

As a material inducement to entering into employment with the company, Mr. Aquino will be awarded 1,585,000 restricted shares of the company's common stock on his first date of employment under the terms of an award agreement. This award was unanimously approved by the Compensation Committee of the company's board of directors as an inducement award pursuant to NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). Of the total grant, 300,000 shares of restricted stock are subject to time-based vesting (in three year annual increments), 700,000 shares of restricted stock are subject to performance-based vesting based on the company achieving specified stock price targets and the remaining 585,000 shares of restricted stock are subject to vesting based on both the company achieving specified stock price targets and time-based vesting following the company's achievement of those stock price targets. Vesting of the shares of restricted stock is conditioned upon Mr. Aquino's continued employment with the company, and is subject to acceleration upon certain events (including a change of control of the company as defined in the award agreement).

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