More departures from Sage

A further two senior executives left Sage earlier this month amid concerns over a slowdown in software sales, writes Nick Huber.

The latest departures – Mark Searles, head of Sage’s software division and channel director Richard Fisher – are the most serious yet. Three executives left Taxsoft after Sage acquired it in late February, but the latest departures were both operational directors of Sagesoft, the company’s main UK arm.

Software division director Searles will be replaced by Graham Parker, previously director of the customer service division.

Jo Ray has been promoted to general manager of the customer division.

Searles declined to comment on his departure for legal reasons, but told Accountancy Age that he was keen to continue a career in the software industry.

In a statement, Graham Wylie, managing director of Sagesoft, said the departures were by ‘mutual agreement’. Privately, Wylie is understood to have intiated the managerial reshuffle to counter ‘over-complication’ in the sales channel and a relative slowdown in new software sales compared to revenues from the accountants and services divisions.

Searles, who joined from Midland Bank, was instrumental in bolstering Sage’s brand-led sales and marketing strategy and was given responsibility for co-ordinating its application to a growing number of subsidiaries.


August 1997 Searles joins as marketing director

July 1998 Searles appointed head of Software Division to target new sales among SMEs. Graham Parker appointed customer services director

March 1999 Taxsoft founders Robin and Charles Cook-Hurle leave Sage after it acquires their company

August 1999 Searles and channel director Richard Fisher leave.

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