LogicaCMG chief quits after profit warning

Services firm LogicaCMG is losing its chief executive, Martin Read, who has brought forward retirement plans following a profits warning last week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  May 28, 2007

Services firm LogicaCMG is losing its chief executive, Martin Read, who has brought forward retirement plans following a profits warning last week.

Logica said it had accepted Read's decision "with regret" and has begun the search for a new CEO, looking at both internal and external candidates. Read, who has run Logica for 14 years, will continue to manage the firm during the transition period.

Last week, the Anglo-Dutch firm warned that revenues and margins would be down in the first half of this year, with full year revenues falling slightly below 2006. While the firm said that performance in its UK business was mainly to blame, international business, which includes the Middle East, fell 2.6% in its first quarter.

Following a fall in its share price, Logica executives took the unusual step of meeting over the weekend - a designated public holiday in the UK - to discuss the situation. Read, who had previously broached the subject of his retirement with the board, decided to accelerate his departure, according to media reports.

Cor Stutterheim, chairman of Logica described Read as "a visionary leader" who had built Logica into a major international operation of 40,000 employees in 41 countries.

"LogicaCMG is a great company," Read said in the statement announcing his departure. "I have been privileged to serve as its CEO during a period of such major growth and to have worked with so many first-rate colleagues as they have developed and operated leading-edge systems in different markets across the world."

Logica has a strong presence in the Middle East, with offices in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The firm has been especially successful with its SMS messaging solutions, having won a number of clients in that sector, including a contract with Qtel last year to provide a messaging platform for the Asian Games.

The firm however sold its Telecoms Products business to a private equity consortium for US$517million in February this year.

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