Authoria Gets New CEO

Nov 25, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

A former CFO and computer software executive is assuming the reins at Authoria (profile; site) in a move that may signal a drive to expand the company’s footprint through acquisition as well as organic growth.

James J. McDevitt has already taken over as president and chief executive officer, replacing Tod Loofbourrow, who sold the company in September to Bedford Funding, a private equity fund. Loofbourrow, who founded Authoria in 1997, will serve as chairman of its board of directors.

McDevitt comes to Authoria from CDC Software, a $360 million division of CDC Corp. and a global provider of enterprise software solutions and services to medium and large businesses. He joined the company in May 2007 as senior vice president and general manager of Global Services, its IT consulting and outsourcing division. He was promoted to chief operating officer in April 2008.

Charles S. Jones, managing partner of Bedford Funding and McDevitt’s former boss when the two were at Geac Computer Corp., praised him as a “proven executive who has a notable track record of defining opportunity and building businesses.”

In the press release announcing the C-suite change, Jones said Authoria, which Bedford acquired for $63.1 million, “sits squarely in a dynamic yet fragmented marketplace that presents significant opportunities for growth, consolidation and partnership. (McDevitt’s) first-hand experience in leading vertically focused technology businesses and his significant acquisition and integration expertise will play important roles going forward.”

Geac, like Authoria, was sold to an investment group. But unlike Authoria, its various business software units were split up and the company terminated. Before that 2006 sale McDevitt had served two tours with Geac. He was senior vice president and CFO of GEAC’s SmartEnterprise Solutions Division from 1997 to 2000 leaving to become CFO at Clarus Corporation, a B2B procurement software company that two years later sold off its assets. He rejoined GEAC in 2002 as senior vice president and general manager of the Performance Management Division.

The press release makes much of McDevitt’s experience building revenue while at CDC and turning around a faltering unit at Geac.

“Of particular note during his tenure at Geac was Mr. McDevitt’s turnaround of the company’s faltering Interealty business,” the press release says. Of his time at CDC it notes: “Mr. McDevitt was focused on streamlining the CDC Software business, building accountability throughout the organization, and integrating acquisitions. Within 18 months, the company reported record quarterly revenues… generated positive operating cash flows for three consecutive quarters; and improved adjusted EBITDA…”

Commenting on the change, Loofbourrow says in the press release, “With the infusion of capital brought in by Bedford Funding and the appointment of an experienced growth-driven executive as President and CEO, I am as enthusiastic as I have ever been about Authoria’s opportunity and market trajectory.”

“I am delighted to have been able to attract someone of Jim’s experience and caliber to the company and look forward to supporting him by sharing my product and market knowledge, focusing on the strategic challenges of the business, and transitioning key industry relationships.”

Authoria is no stranger to aquisition. In 2005 it bought

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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