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April 3, 2023

WANDisco CEO and CFO step down amid ‘fraudulent irregularities’ probe

Trading in the company's shares was suspended last month, and an investigation is ongoing.

By Matthew Gooding

The CEO and CFO of British data migration software company WANDisco have both stepped down as an investigation into potentially fraudulent activity at the business continues. Trading in shares of WANDisco was suspended last month after irregularities were discovered in the company’s accounts.

WANDisco’s CEO has stepped down. (Photo by T. Schneider/Shutterstock)

CEO David Richards, who is also the company’s co-founder and finance chief Erik Miller have left their posts and resigned from the company’s board, WANDisco said this morning. Trading in WANDisco shares was suspended last month after the company said it had discovered potentially “fraudulent irregularities”, which suggested that revenue was much lower than previously indicated. An investigation is ongoing.

Recently appointed interim chair Ken Lever will run the business while a new CEO is found. The company has also announced that Ijoma Maluza will be taking up the role of interim CFO on 11 April. Ijoma was previously the CFO at intelligent automation specialist Blue Prism.

WANDisco investigation uncovers ‘irregularities’

WANDisco, which is jointly headquartered in Sheffield and California, helps its clients move data from IoT and edge devices, as well as on-premises data repositories, onto cloud platforms. It has partnerships with many leading cloud providers including Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud and Oracle.

It listed on the AIM market in 2012, and says it works with hundreds of companies worldwide.

WANDisco reported revenue of $7.3m in 2021, and said in a trading update in January that it expected income for 2022 to be around $24m, with bookings of $115m. But last month trading in the company’s shares was suspended after the irregularities were discovered. An independent investigation was launched, and today’s updates say it has discovered revenue referenced in the trading update should have been $9.7m, while bookings should have been $11.4m.

The investigation is ongoing, and WANDisco continues to trade as normal, it said.

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CEO and co-founder departs WANDisco

The departure of Richards and Miller is “not linked” to the investigation, a WANDisco statement said. “The independent investigation is progressing well and has to date primarily focused on the received purchase orders and related revenue and sales bookings as represented by one senior sales employee,” it added.

Lever said: “Over the years David and Erik have contributed significant time and effort to establishing and developing WANdisco. They remain meaningful shareholders in the business and continue to believe in the long-term, successful future for this company and its unique technology.”

Richards, who co-founded the company with Yeturu Aahlad in 2005, added: “I am sad to be leaving WANdisco after 18 extremely enjoyable years. I remain a passionate supporter and significant shareholder of the company.”

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