Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Epicor replaces CEO and COO: why?

Epicor announced yesterday that Tom Kelly, a member of Epicor's board, is replacing longtime CEO George Klaus. Klaus will remain as Executive Chairman of the board. Although Klaus is quoted in the press release saying that the move is "the culmination of a carefully architected succession plan," I don't know of any prior public indication that this transition was imminent. Normally, when an organization plans to switch CEOs, there is plenty of warning.

Adding to the mystery, in the same press release, the firm revealed that Epicor's President and COO, Mark Duffell, is "leaving to pursue other opportunities." Generally, this is a polite way of saying that an executive was asked to resign, although we have no way to know whether it is true in this case. Kelly will assume Duffell's role of President in addition to Klaus's role of CEO.

It's hard to pin these management changes on poor quarterly performance. Epicor just announced fourth quarter results that were positive. Earnings were up 14%, driven by new license revenue, and profits were in line with Wall Street expectations. In addition, the firm just completed its acquisition of NSB Retail Systems, which should significantly improve its portfolio of offerings for the retail industry, a potentially fertile niche.

So, why the sudden need to replace two top executives at Epicor? If you have a theory, let me know.

Update, Feb. 22. See my Epicor follow up post on this subject.

Related posts
Epicor expands presence in retail sector

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That had been announced for over a year. I think it was first discussed on an analyst call way back. As far as Duffel leaving, there is always a shuffle when a new head of state moves in so not too surprising