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Sage chairman in shock departure

Sage chairman Sir Julian Horn-Smith has quit after six months, citing clashes in "style and culture".

Sage chairman Sir Julian Horn-Smith has quit after six months, citing clashes in "style and culture".

Formerly the deputy CEO of Vodafone, Horn-Smith's hiring was seen as a major coup for the software firm; his experience in overseas takeovers was seen as key to Sage's global acquisition strategy. He has resigned with immediate effect.

"After careful consideration the board agreed that the differences in styles and culture meant that change was necessary," Horn-Smith said in a statement. "I felt that the best solution was for me to stand down as chairman."

Sage's board has appointed a non-executive director, Tony Hobson, as acting chairman; it said it will look for a permanent replacement for Horn-Smith.

The UK software firm has been looking to expand outside its traditional accountancy market, with a series of acquisitions in complementary sectors. However, its US$565million purchase of medical software firm Emdeon was criticised for taking it out of its core business.

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