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Vonage Chief Rings Off, Dials For Dollars

Absolute Citron.

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A sketchy history with the Securities and Exchange Commission forced Jeffrey Citron, founder of New Jersey–based Internet phone company Vonage, to step down as CEO last week, but it won’t stop him from making a killing on Vonage’s $250 million IPO. In 2003, he was hit with $22.5 million in civil penalties to settle SEC claims that he had engaged in unlawful trading when he headed Datek Online, so Citron’s resignation helps clear the way for the IPO. Still, Citron, 35, isn’t exactly cut off. He’ll retain a massive 41 percent stake in Vonage and will earn a $600,000 salary and be eligible for an annual bonus of an equal amount under his new title of chairman and chief strategist, focusing mostly on marketing efforts. He’s also entitled to reimbursement for business-related air travel. Over the past two years, the company has paid Citron $300,000 for travel by himself and with other Vonage employees via New World Aviation, Inc., a corporation wholly owned by Citron and his wife.


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