Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Portrait gets new CEO after a no-deal Q2

(By Anthony Miller) It really is a difficult time for ‘Little British Battlers’. Tiny UK-based CRM player, Portrait Software, which announced its interim results today (see here), got hammered in Q2 (to 30th Sept.) as orders completely dried up. According to chairman John O’Connell, business activity is “returning to more normal levels”. There’s also to be an amicable changing of the guard, with CEO Nick Randall handing over to new hire Luke McKeever in March. McKeever appears to be a bit of a 'mystery man' as no bio was included other than to say he “has worked in the B2C marketing software sector for many years” but holds no current (or prior) directorships. I guess this is called ‘on the job training’! But knowing the esteemed Mr O’Connell, McKeever will have a very strong and experienced hand to guide him. The real challenge, though, is how to scale the business. Portrait has over 300 customers but annualised revenues of just £14m, i.e. some £45K spend per customer. We really do wish them well.

Post script: I should have read the release more carefully! It was indeed stated that McKeever had worked at Experian and Alterian and was CEO at marcomms software player Capital ID. But our thanks also to UKHotViews reader Jeffrey Jenner from tech M&A firm, Westchester, who rang to tell us he spotted McKeever's profile on networking site LinkedIn, where he is indeed listed as CEO at Capital ID, and had previously held senior positions at Alterian, Claritas, and Experian. My humble apologies!

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