Softcat has initiated a search for a new CEO after announcing that incumbent Martin Hellawell is to step down.
Hellawell, who has headed up the Marlow-based reseller for 11 years, will vacate the hotseat once a replacement is found, but will stay on as non-executive chairman.
The news came as Softcat revealed in a trading update that its Q3 trading has been in line with expectations.
Talking to CRN, Hellawell, who joined Softcat as managing director in 2006, said it was the right time for him to step back from the day-to-day cut and thrust of the business.
"I've been doing this for 11 years," he said. "I've been very operational and hands on in every detail, and after 11 years it takes its toll on you. I'm in my 50s and am planning for the next phase. There's a really great opportunity for Softcat ahead of us, and it's time to get some fresh energy into the organisation to move us forward."
The search for Hellawell's replacement will be led by current non-executive chairman Brian Wallace and Lee Ginsberg, senior independent director.
Hellawell said Softcat managing director Colin Brown has ruled himself out of the running and that his successor will most likely be an external appointment.
"We will look at both [external and internal candidates]," he said. "But being completely open it is likely to be an external candidate. Colin has indicated he is happy doing what he is currently doing. We will initiate a search in the next couple of days, and get on with it. It will be a relatively short list."
A track record in the tech sector would be desirable, but Hellawell said Softcat will also consider candidates from outside the sector.
Having obliterated its growth expectations in its fiscal first half, Softcat continued to "trade well" during Q3, according to a trading update released this morning.
During Hellawell's tenure, Softcat's revenues have boomed ten-fold, from £67m to £672m. It floated on the London Stock Exchange in November 2015.
Hellawell said stepping back to a non-exec role would allow him to focus on charity work and on his health and fitness, but stressed he will still be heavily involved with Softcat, and the wider industry.
"This is not a time to say thanks for the memories," he said. "There will be no leaving speech from me today."
Wallace, who will retire from the board when Hellawell steps into his shoes as non-executive director, said: "It has been a privilege for me to have been on the Board of this hugely positive, vibrant and successful Company since 2013. Following Martin's decision to step down as Chief Executive Officer, and having chaired the company through its highly successful IPO and first two years as a PLC, I strongly believe that the appointment in due course of Martin Hellawell as Non-Executive Chairman is in the best interests of the Company, its employees, shareholders and other stakeholders."
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