Sage’s move to remove its top American management wasn’t unusual. It was dramatic. But it was not unusual in the sense that the leadership of much of the accounting software market has changed. Mike Braun replaced a CEO at Intacct who was sent packing. Steve Bennett is retiring from Intuit to be replaced by SVP Brad Smith.
Add the departures together at Microsoft Business Solutions, the group that markets the Dynamics accounting and CRM line, and not much less dramatic than the Sage house cleaning. It just didn’t happen at one time.
To recap, Sage
Anyway you look at it, the management of three of the top companies in the accounting software market has changed or is changing.
The change at Intuit takes some recapping. CFO Kiran Patel moved to the position of SVP of the consumer tax group, replacing former CFO Brad Henske, who had made the same switch, and then left the company. Sasan Goodarzi, who left the professional tax group for two years, moved to take over the company’s new financial institution division. When a new CFO comes on board, Intuit will also be in a position of having many of its top jobs in new hands.
Is this all coincidence? I don’t think so. When two executives from one company announced their resignations about the same time, one of them emphasized the moves had nothing to do with each other.
But in a way, that’s not true. When a merger or acquisition occurs, or leadership changes, the parties leaving may not have discussed their decisions. However, they are driven by the same changes.
In this case, the underlying reason is even broader. What used to be thought of as the mid-market accounting channel was fairly stable for about 25 years. Most VARs did the same things and many leaders at participating companies hung around a long time.
Now, the whole market is changing. Applications are blending. Resellers are becoming much more sophisticated, more specialized. Everyone in the channel is no longer doing the same thing. Regardless of whether individual conferred with each other before resigning, the market has a way of driving generational and market changes.
It’s not an accident.
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