Great Plains faces blow as MD quits.

US-based mid-market business solutions provider Great Plains was dealt a blow last week when its UK managing director Neil Robertson resigned. Robertson, who was largely responsible for launching the UK arm of Great Plains software in 1996, has left ‘to pursue other business ventures’. Great Plains and Robertson said the split was amicable. Both parties also claimed that suggestions the move was influenced by US directors concerned by Robertson’s management style were unfounded. Robertson said: ‘The organisation is capable of succeeding without me. My time at Great Plains has been enjoyable but I feel there are new business challenges I wish to pursue. E-business is just one opportunity I may wish to look into.’ Great Plains’ Canadian regional director Lorne Borgal has been appointed interim UK managing director until a replacement is found. Robertson’s decision came as the group announced its financial results for the third quarter ending 29 February 2000. It reported record third quarter revenues of $48.1m – a 34% increase over the same period last year. However, net income and diluted earnings per share were $100,000 and 1 cent per share compared to $3.4m dollars and 23 cents per share at the same period last year. The company explained this result came as a result of acquisitions made over the past 12 months, including the purchase of web-based solution provider PWA group. Great Plains finance director Lindsey Gill added that the group is hitting Wall Street analysts’ expectations and the global business is continuing to grow. The UK arm is playing its role in that growth. Doug Burgum, chairman and CEO of Great Plains said that in the mid market, business is becoming e-business. ‘Increasingly, every mid-market customer realises the need to become electronically connected with its community including its suppliers, customers, employees and prospects. Great Plains and our partners are delivering the e-business solutions today to enable these companies to thrive in this new interconnected world.’

Related reading