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Sage Group names Steve Hare, currently its interim COO and CFO, to vacant CEO role

Hare was appointed to the additional post of interim COO on 31 August 2018, when Stephen Kelly stood down as the blue-chip software group’s CEO
Sage Group stand
Kelly’s departure came after a profit warning in April, with the group blaming “inconsistent operational execution” for the cut in full-year guidance

The Sage Group PLC (LON:SGE) has appointed Steve Hare, currently its interim chief operating officer and chief financial officer, to the role of chief executive officer with immediate effect.

The FTSE 100-listed software group said it has initiated a process to find a new chief financial officer with Hare to combine his duties as CFO with those as CEO until an appointment is made.

READ: The Sage Group parts company with chief executive, Stephen Kelly

Hare, who joined Sage’s board as CFO on 3 January 2014, was appointed to the additional post of interim COO on 31 August 2018, when Stephen Kelly stood down as the group’s CEO.

Kelly’s departure came after a profit warning in April, with the group blaming “inconsistent operational execution” for the cut in full-year guidance.

Even the revised guidance was heavily caveated, with the group saying achieving it depended on closing a number of enterprise management opportunities before the end of the financial year, which runs to the end of September.

In today’s statement, Donald Brydon, Sage’s chairman, commented: "As we looked externally for the experience, vision and deep knowledge required to accelerate operational execution it very quickly became clear through Steve's early decisions and his clear prioritisation that he is the right person to lead Sage."

Appointment welcomed

In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital commented: “We welcome Mr Hare’s appointment as CEO and believe the shares will react positively to the news.

“In our view, Sage is now unlikely to make any radical departures from the current strategy, as some had speculated, as Mr Hare has been central to the current direction of travel.”

The analysts added: “We believe the current strategy will continue to bear fruit as Sage continues along the journey towards a fully subscription-based business. We, therefore, do not believe any material departures from the target operating model or guidance are likely.”

In early morning trading, Sage Group shares were 3.8% higher at 570.60p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

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