What happened

Shares of Five9 (FIVN 1.40%), an industry-leading provider of cloud-based contact center solutions, have been demolished this year. Between the beginning of the year and last Friday, shares had slid about 44%. The stock has been battered and bruised recently, along with many other growth stocks that soared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the stock's year-to-date loss is even worse Monday, as shares slid about 19% as of 10:15 a.m. ET. The growth stock's sharp drop today comes as news broke that Five9's CEO, Rowan Trollope, is stepping down. Shares are now down more than 50% year to date.

However, there's an encouraging silver lining to this CEO transition story regarding both the returning CEO's comeback story and the better-than-expected preliminary third-quarter financial results Five9 reported along with this press release.

So what

Trollope is officially handing over the CEO role on Nov. 28, Five9 said Monday. Leadership will transition to longtime chairman of the board and former CEO Mike Burkland.

As Five9 lead independent director of Five9's board, Dave Welsh, said in a company press release on Monday morning that Trollope has been "instrumental in positioning the company for continued product innovation and expansion both in addressable market and into large enterprise."

Burkland's return to the CEO position is quite a milestone. The executive had resigned from the leadership role in 2017 when he was diagnosed with cancer. "I resigned from the CEO post to focus on my health, while remaining very close to the business as Chairman," Burkland said in Five9's press release about the news. "Now, following successful treatments, I am pleased to report that my doctors have given me a favorable long-term prognosis."

Now what

Burkland says he's "so excited" to get back to leading the team. "We are still in the early innings of the shift to the cloud, driven by key trends such as digital transformation and the strategic importance of customer experience."

Five9 also provided upbeat news regarding its third-quarter financial results. Preliminary revenue for the period was $198 million, well ahead of management's guidance for revenue between $192.5 million and $193.5 million and beating a consensus analyst estimate of about $193 million. Five9's expected adjusted EPS of $0.38 also comes in ahead of analysts' average forecast of $0.32.