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What: Shares of Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) have plunged today by as much as 12% after the company announced a change in management.

So what: The company said it has appointed Senior Vice President Victor Alston as the company's COO and will stand for election for a board seat, and will proceed to take the CEO spot in May once Ixia's annual meeting rolls around on May 10. Current CEO Atul Bhatnagar is stepping down and leaving the company on that same day.

Now what: Alston has been directly responsible for the company's product management and development for almost five years. Chairman Errol Ginsberg said, "We believe that our business is gaining momentum and that Vic's passion and operational knowledge will help the Company take the next step." Ginsberg also reiterated Ixia's first-quarter sales guidance in line with its previously guided range of $82 million to $85 million.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.