UPDATED 12-20-2010 to include information on where Paul’s headed
As you may recall in October Jodi Uecker-Rust the President of Sage Business solutions departed to pursue other interests. Then in early December Sage North America CEO Sue Swenson announced her retirement at some unspecified time in 2011 to attend some college courses she’d always wanted to take and spend more time with her spouse.
Although CEO Sue Swenson’s departure was
spun press released as retirement it seems even more likely now that the chain of events foreshadows the start of another re-organization. I expect more housekeeping once incoming CEO Pascal Houillon jets in from France after January 1, 2011.
Friday afternoon 12/17/2010 at about 5pm EST in a channel wide email Sage VP of Channel Management Tom Miller announced that Executive Vice President of Sales Paul Johnson has departed (effective immediately) for what I hear
is may be a similar position at a competitor. (Update: Seth Fineberg is reporting that his sources are indicating that Johnson will be joining competitor Intuit).
Johnson was an extremely visible member of the Sage management team often serving as spokesperson at channel events such as Presidents Circle. Most interesting to me is that he co-authored most recent channel communications – including the memo announcing Jodi Uecker-Rust (technically his boss) departing Sage. He also served as a familiar face to channel partners at award ceremonies and other higher level gatherings.
Information about Paul Johnson’s departure seemed to catch most partners off-guard with news starting to leak about 2 hours prior to official notice. Up to 30 minutes before the mass email landed in partner inboxes some very close to the situation at Sage were unaware that Paul was already gone .
Some of Paul Johnson’s achievements at Sage (via his LinkedIn page):
Lead a multi-product north American $500 million multi-channel software sales and services team with full P&L responsibility; restructured the sales force and go-to-market strategy to achieve expense reductions of 35+% over 15 months; increased revenue per FTE by 45+%
Implemented VAR and sales professional compensation and management programs to drive new license revenue and increase focus on customer service excellence, achieving 92%+ maintenance and support renewal rates
While turnover of this type is not unexpected – especially in the wake of the announced departure of CEO Sue Swenson – it does open up a few interesting questions about whether either or both executives might have been passed over for Sue Swenson’s position resulting in the departures.
In any event Sage seems prepared for at least these two executive departures as evidenced by a recent job posting.
Eagle eyed LinkedIn members have noticed Sage is advertising for a Contract Recruiter – Executive/Leadership Focus since early December. The position specifically mentions executive recruiting – a requirement I cannot remember seeing in similar Sage job postings before.
Update: Paul Johnson has posted in the Sage LinkedIn group apparently to quash speculation that he’d been involuntarily separated from Sage. If my Intuition is correct that we’ll have an announcement next month on where Paul’s landed.
Update: Seth Fineberg of Accounting Today / SourceMedia speculates that Paul Johnson is moving to Intuit (who is apparently not issuing any confirmation ro denials).
Update: Looks as if Paul will be going to Intuit but it won’t be the software group. Instead when the press announcement goes out expect to read that he’s landed at Intuit Financial Services Group Headquartered in Glendale California.
Here’s the full release announcing Paul Johnson’s departure:
Sage Business Solutions Organizational Announcement
Recently, Sage announced a number of organizational changes. One additional change in the new year will be that Paul Johnson is stepping down as Executive Vice President of Sales effective today.
We thank Paul for the many contributions he made during challenging economic times. During his tenure at Sage, Paul organized the current Sage Business Solutions sales structure and sales management process, which helped get us back to revenue growth in both existing customer and new license sales. He also created the Channel Management team, bringing channel programs and enablement, channel marketing, distribution optimization, partner communications, and strategic alliances into a single group. This structure has helped us accelerate innovation in providing services to partners and position us as an industry leader.
I will assume responsibility for leading the sales organization until a permanent replacement is named and I will report to Sage Business Solutions President Pascal Houillon during this interim period.
The balance of the Sage Business Solutions sales organization remains unchanged. You will continue to work with your current Sage sales resources.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. Thank you for your efforts in delivering extraordinary experiences every day to our shared customers.
Vice President, Channel Management
Sage Business Solutions