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December 6, 2013

EG Solutions CEO dramatically resigns

More trouble at British software firm?

By Jason Stamper

The CEO of AIM-listed EG Solutions, John O’Connell, has resigned with immediate effect, just eight weeks into the job.

EG said in a statement it will appoint a new CEO "as soon as possible", and in the meantime founder and former CEO Elizabeth Gooch will be acting executive chairman.

In an interview with CBR just two weeks ago, there were no signs from O’Connell that events were about to unravel.

Asked why he had become CEO, he said: "I had been encouraged by the fact that Elizabeth [Gooch] had signed this contract in January [for Aspect to become an investor, strategic partner and exclusive distributor in certain geographies].

"Therefore I was more convinced that the goal for global domination was more realistic, especially as she said that she wanted me to help get some ex-top-guns from my Staffware and other days. The business was nicely balanced between Aspect on the one hand, and our own efforts primarily in EMEA. We were no longer like a one-clubbed golfer."

O’Connell is a technology entrepreneur who co-founded, floated and then sold software company Staffware to Tibco in 2004. He made an investment in EG Solutions – a back-office automation company specialising in the financial services sector – in March of this year and became non-executive chairman.

In October he took the reins as CEO, his first executive role since he sold Staffware, although he had been active mentoring, chairing and investing in other British software firms.

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During his time at EG Solutions O’Connell had hired several senior sales and operations roles that he knew from his Staffware days or since.

EG has been struggling recently with disappointing results and losses. In the first half to 31st July, sales were down to £2.2m from £2.8m a year ago. EBITDA went from profit of £0.6m to a loss of £0.3m.

An EG Solutions spokesman told CBR the company will not be making any further comment on the reasons for the sudden resignation at this time.

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