The announcement of a new CEO at Absolute Software (TSX:ABT) removes what Cormark analyst Richard Tse says was one of the biggest negatives at the firm; a history of unfocused leadership.
On Friday, Absolute Software announced that after an extensive CEO search, it had found its man in Geoff Haydon, a man with extensive experience at EMC, where he recently served as COO for its Asia-Pacific and Japan region.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Geoff’s calibre join to lead Absolute,” said Absolute chairman Daniel P. Ryan. “With his background in enterprise security software and his proven track record of growth and experience in both North American and global markets, he is the right person to take Absolute to the next level in terms of revenue growth, global reach and increased profitability.”
Tse says that one of his frustrations with Absolute has been a lack of focused leadership. But he says the extensive search (it is Tse’s belief that the company interviewed 12 candidates) suggests to him that eventual winner Haydon’s extensive enterprise software background can pull value from Absolute’s many products.
Noting that activist investor Crescendo Partners holds two board seats and a 15% stake in Absolute, Tse says it was always his belief that the eventual outcome for the company would be a sale. The Cormark analyst says he still believes this to be the case, but says the timeline for such an event has been pushed back because of Friday’s news.
In a research update to clients this morning, Tse maintained his “Buy” rating and $8.50 one-year target on Absolute Software.