Dutch software vendor Unit4 today announced that Stephan Sieber will take over as the company’s CEO with immediate effect in a move that has taken many industry experts by surprise.
Sieber is currently Unit4’s executive vice president, global sales and succeeds José Duarte, who has led Unit4 since 2013.
The change comes just over a week after Duarte headed up Unit4’s Connect Conference, at which he launched several new products including their "biggest release ever” Unit4 Business World On! At the Amsterdam summit the Portuguese executive was bullish about the company’s prospects, and gave no hint of the boardroom turbulence to come.
Commenting on the change a Unit4 spokesperson told AccountingWEB that it has been a long-held desire of Duarte’s to focus on areas outside enterprise software, where he has spent the majority of his career so far.
With Unit4’s continued expansion and recent focus on the professional services industry, the spokesperson continued, the role of CEO was likely to be an extremely intense proposition, leaving its incumbent with no time for other projects. Therefore former SAP global services president Duarte felt it a good time to hand over and let Sieber take the reins.
Sieber, another former SAP executive, joined Unit4 in early 2014 as EVP strategy and operations, before taking over as head of sales mid-2015, and has played an instrumental role in the repositioning Unit4 as a leader in enterprise applications for service organisations.
Commenting on his appointment Sieber said: “I am excited and honoured to take on this new role within Unit4. The company has created a very unique position in the market over the last three years through its people-centric approach to innovative business software.
“People productivity and efficiency in service industries have never been more crucial than now and we have the opportunity to deliver a new enterprise software experience to these organisations.”
Léo Apotheker, chairman of the Unit4 board and former head of Hewlett-Packard thanked Duarte for his achievements over the past three years, stating that he had “helped transition Unit4 to become one of the key players in business software for services-centric organisations and we wish him all the best for the next phase of his career".