Data Integration (DI) boss Garath Lauder is quitting to start a new venture with the security and networking VAR's founder, Simon Crumplin, CRN has learned.
DI sold up to business process services giant Xchanging in June 2010 for a maximum of £9m in cash. This included an earn-out payment of up to £2.5m, the final £1.5m tranche of which Xchanging stumped up last year.
Lauder, who joined DI as managing director in 2004, confirmed that he will exit the firm in two months to hook up once again with Crumplin.
Lauder told CRN he wanted to return to his entrepreneurial roots.
"It has been three years since the acquisition of DI and it is time for me to go off and find something new to do," he said. "I have had a great time at Xchanging and it is a fantastic company to work for, and they gave me an opportunity to run global sales for them. But it is time for me to do something more entrepreneurial."
Crumplin returned to the UK earlier this year following a period carrying out consultancy work in South Africa.
Lauder said the duo is currently "spinning a few ideas around", with a view to launching a new venture later this year, but would not comment further. In the interim, the pair will look to engage in consultancy work in the field of big data analytics.
In its most-recent accounts, for the year to 31 December 2011, DI saw turnover fall fractionally to £11.98m. Pre-tax profits slipped by 45 per cent to £501,000.
However, DI's sales "significantly improved" in 2012, according to parent Xchanging's 2012 Annual Report.
Lauder said the Palo Alto, Juniper, Aruba and Extreme Networks partner had undergone a strategy shift under Xchanging's tutelage.
"The focus has adjusted – it is now more of a mobility pitch rather than infrastructure," he said. "Xchanging has a big footprint in insurance and DI is getting quite involved in that world."
Channel rumours suggest that DI's successor will come from outside the company but Lauder claimed it is too early to say, stressing that one of his final tasks for DI will be to draw up a succession plan. The firm, which still has its own P&L within Xchanging, has about 60 staff, Lauder said.
"I have no preconceived ideas [as to whether it will be an external or internal appointment]," he said.
Jonathan Lassman, managing director of security VAR NTS, said: "I am sure Garath and Simon will be successful in whatever they do – they are serial entrepreneurs and are damn good at what they do. I imagine they will come back into the reseller channel in some form."
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