Dubber Suspends CEO Over “Missing” $26.6MN

The call recording platform provider found “inconsistencies” during an audit of its half-year accounts

Dubber Suspends CEO Over “Missing” $26.6MN
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Published: March 4, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

Dubber CEO and Managing Director Steve McGovern has found himself in hot water after the company discovered $26.6MN missing from its accounts.

The financial anomaly cropped up during Dubber’s half-year financial audit. As a result, the company had to notify the market, giving the following statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX):

“As part of the audit review process for its 31 December 2023 half-year accounts, the Company has become aware of inconsistencies in respect of funds that have been held on behalf of the Company by a third-party trustee.

A preliminary investigation by the Company has uncovered that funds, purported to have be[en] held in a term deposit account, may have been applied for other purposes and are not currently available to the Company.

While the internal investigation dives deeper into what those “other purposes” may be, Dubber has placed McGovern under suspension with “immediate effect”.

That’s no small move, given McGovern has spent over 13 years as CEO of Dubber since he founded the business with James Slaney (COO) and Adrian Di Pietrantonio (EVP).

However, Dubber did not purport any allegations of wrongdoing when informing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

As McGovern sits out on the sidelines, Peter Pawlowitsch, Executive Director of Dubber, will step in and become Acting CEO.

Pawlowitsch and his team have already recouped $3.4MN of the funds, and Dubber remains hopeful that it will recoup the rest.

Dubber’s Customer Base “Remains Unaffected”

Dubber claims to be the “world’s leading” provider of cloud-based call recording software and offer the “world’s first” voice intelligence cloud.

Indeed, companies from across the globe leverage its tech, and the firm has reassured customers and investors that the incident has not impacted its worldwide service delivery.

In its note, Dubber stated:

Delivery of Dubber services to the Company’s global customer base remains unaffected. The  Company’s forecast revenue range for FY2024 is also unchanged.

That revenue forecast comes after its FY2023 revenues rose 23 percent year-over-year (YoY) – with many businesses leveraging Dubber across Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.

Despite this, Dubber’s stock dropped by 95+ percent since its pandemic peak in September 2021.

In the tricky macroeconomic climate, that drop is shared by many CX software vendors. Although, in the case of Dubber, it’s particularly pronounced.

Moreover, it comes in the face of increasing competition in the voice recording, recognition, and transcription market.

There, Dubber primarily competes with a platform that captures calls, turns them into data, enriches that data with AI, and then makes the recording available via a “replay” or insightful transcription.

Dubber then dashboards the data and funnels it with integrated prominent customer experience applications, from HubSpot to Salesforce and Microsoft Teams to Webex.

By working with these CX titans, Dubber will hope to sustain its revenues through this affair and help lift its ailing stock.

In the meantime, Pawlowitsch and his team will continue to search for answers over the missing money. As Dubber’s statement concluded:

The Company will provide further updates on any material developments in this matter, and continues to work with its auditor, Ernst and Young, to finalise and release its 31 December 2023 half-year accounts.

For more on the voice analytics market – and the voice experiences of tomorrow – check out our conversation on the topic: The Future of Voice



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