Sage Appoints CFO To CEO Position, Shares Rise

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Sage has named Steve Hare, its finance boss, as the new chief executive of the company, two months after Stephen Kelly, its former chief, agreed to step down from his post.

Hare is Sage’s chief financial officer. He will be performing both his current role and the top job while the board looks for a replacement CFO.

Hare stated: “It is an honour to be asked to lead Sage as the chief executive officer. I continue to believe that by putting our customers, our people and innovation at the heart of everything we do, we will succeed in our journey to becoming a great SaaS business.”

Kelly resigned at the end of August after four years at the helm. It comes shortly after the accounting software company revealed that hitting full-year guidance was dependent on signing a number of deals in September.

Investors said that the company was struggling to migrate its customers from on-premise software to take advantage of its cloud offerings, which has affected its profit margin.

Its mid-market products have also come under immense pressure from its larger competitors such as Microsoft and its younger rivals like Xero.

Hare joined the firm as CFO in early 2014. He had taken on the position as the interim chief operating officer in the wake of the departure of Kelly while the board searched for a new leader.

However, Donald Brydon, its chairman, said that the external search of the board could nor look for candidates that matched the performance of Hare after the departure of Kelly.

Brydon stated: “I am delighted Steve has agreed to lead Sage on the next stage of its journey to become a great SaaS business.”

He added: “He has impressed the board with the momentum, focus, and clarity he has brought to the organisation over the last few months as COO but also throughout his tenure as CFO.”

He continued: “As we looked externally for the experience, vision and deep knowledge required to accelerate operational execution it very quickly became clear through Steve’s early decisions and his clear prioritisation that he is the right person to lead Sage.”

The shares of the company rose by 2.4 percent in early morning trading to 564.4p, even though that is still far off its January valuation of 821.4p.