Stephen Kelly steps down as Sage CEO

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Stephen Kelly, president and CEO of Sage, has stepped down from his positions. The U.K.-based ERP software provider has started the search for a replacement, but Kelly will remain available in a non-executive capacity until May 31, 2019.

The board of directors has appointed chief financial officer Steve Hare to the additional post of interim chief operating officer. He will have full executive authority to run the business until the appointment of the new CEO.

According to a statement from the company, Sage “remains focused on completing its evolution to a software-as-a-service business (SaaS), driven by Sage Business Cloud and providing outstanding customer experience, with greater prioritization on accelerating the operational execution required to realize the significant opportunity available to Sage.”

The company statement also said the board is particularly focused on finding a CEO who is experienced in embedding “sustainable processes at scale.”

“Stephen has much to be proud of in the very heavy lifting he has led as the group is transformed,” said Donald Brydon, chairman of the board, in a statement. “He energized the group, drove change with relentless focus on customers, and under his leadership the strategy to become a leading SaaS business has been defined. The board remains fully supportive of the overall strategy. We wish Stephen well in the next phase of his life.”

“I joined Sage four years ago and am immensely proud of the extraordinary change that I have had the privilege to lead,” said Kelly. “I joined a fragmented organization with minimal presence in the cloud. The major cultural transformation has created Sage Business Cloud which has now grown to ($500.7 million) of annualized recurring revenue from a standing start and has driven total shareholder return for Sage of over twice that of the FTSE100 during my tenure. I am proud of my role in positioning Sage as a champion of entrepreneurs and a voice of business heroes. In addition, the Sage Foundation is living proof that companies can make a difference across their communities. It has been an honor to build a world-class management team, to serve my colleagues and inspire in them my overriding passion of customer obsession. I look forward to Sage's continued growth and success.”

Sage hasn’t changed its fiscal year 2018 guidance and will announce its full-year financial results on Nov. 21, 2018.

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