UNIT4 CEO Chris Ouwinga to step down in 2014

Chris Ouwinga is to step down from his role as CEO at enterprise software provider Unit 4 next year, with José Duarte joining from rival SAP.

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Chris Ouwinga is to step down from his role as CEO at enterprise software provider Unit4 next year, with José Duarte joining from rival SAP.

Duarte will serve as joint-CEO alongside Ouwinga until 1st January 2014, when he will assume the sole chief executive role, having left his post as Global President Services and Corporate Officer at SAP.  Duarte previously undertook a number of roles at the German company, including president of the EMEA and India regions, as well as the Latin America region. Before this Duarte worked for Unilever and Andersen Consulting.

As part of the management change, Unit4 will also alter its corporate structure, forming a single-tier board, with Ouwinga taking on the position of non-executive director and Chairman. The company said in a statement that Ouwinga will focus on ‘strategy, coaching and external relations’ as part of an international growth drive.

Ouwinga commented: "After being with the company from day one, I became convinced we needed to bring additional talent, experience and energy to the management team to support and drive our growth globally and realise the exciting opportunities we see ahead."

He continued: “It is our belief that José will play a pivotal role in helping us to expand, enhance and promote further our successful solution and services strategy and help us reach into new markets and territories.”

Dutch firm Unit 4 has a strong presence in the UK market for its Agresso enterprise resource planning software, particularly in the public sector.  Recent contract wins have included replacing SAP in the UK government’s independent shared service centre in Swansea, while the University of Aberdeen has implemented the Agresso Campus Platform.

Unit4 operates in 26 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Africa, generating revenues of €469.8 million (£400.9 million) in 2012.

Duarte commented: “This is a great time to be joining UNIT4. The company is strongly positioned to exploit the fast-growing demand for cloud-based business solutions, and has great opportunities to further grow in its key sectors worldwide.

“Like UNIT4 I embrace change enthusiastically and I look forward to applying my experience and energy to this exciting opportunity.”

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