MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – VeriSign Inc. said Thursday that its board elected the company’s founder and first chief executive, Jim Bidzos, as chief executive and president and named him executive chairman, all on an interim basis.
Bidzos, 53, replaces William A. Roper, 62, who resigned from VeriSign and its board as of Monday.

Roper has been president and CEO of for a bit more than a year — he was named in May 2007 after VeriSign’s previous CEO, Stratton D. Sclavos, stepped down for undisclosed reasons.

In a statement, VeriSign said its board "feels a sense of urgency to better position the company to take advantage of not only the growth opportunities in the core businesses, but to develop a strategic growth plan to identify new compelling opportunities that align with our company’s core competencies and are an ideal fit under the VeriSign brand."

The company said Bidzos will remain at the helm while VeriSign searches for a CEO and president "that matches this compelling profile."

Bidzos has worked as either chairman or vice chairman of VeriSign’s board since 1995.

In a separate statement, Bidzos said that VeriSign, which runs some of the Internet’s core systems, still plans to divest its noncore operations and expects most sales of operations will be "substantially completed this year."

The company, which over time accumulated an array of disparate businesses, had said in November that it would consider selling some of its noncore units.

Among the largest units to be sold are its communications division, which focuses on telecommunications routing technologies, and a unit that processes billing transactions for wireless providers.

Also Thursday, VeriSign said it anticipates second-quarter revenue will meet or beat estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

On average, the analysts expect revenue of $231.4 million.

VeriSign shares fell 48 cents to finish regular trading at $36.74.

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