Tribal finally finds a new chief

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Former Allocate Software CEO joins the troubled company

Tribal has appointed Ian Bowles as its new chief executive officer. He will join the education software and services group and hold a board position with immediate effect and, “following a period of transition”, will assume the role of CEO on 1 March 2016.

Tribal had been searching for a new CEO since Keith Evans retired in June last year.

Most recently, from 2007 to 2015, Bowles was CEO of Allocate Software, an AIM-listed international provider of specialist workforce management optimisation and corporate governance, risk and compliance software.

education-it-hardware-579Allocate was sold to HgCapital in 2015. Prior to joining Allocate he was, from 2004, chief operating officer of Clearswift, the information security company, where he oversaw a restructuring, rebranding and new marketing strategy.

Other senior roles during a 30 year career include positions at Interwoven (now part of the HPE market optimisation business group), Chordiant Software and Oracle.

Rob Garner, who has undertaken the role of Tribal’s interim CEO since July last year, has agreed to remain with the group until 30 April 2016 to enable an “orderly management transition”.

Richard Last, Tribal chairman, said: “Ian has a strong track record of driving performance and shareholder value in technology businesses operating in international markets, and the board looks forward to working with him.”

Bowles said: “I look forward to working with the team to address its challenges and take the business forward in domestic and international markets.”

Tola Sargeant, an analyst at TechMarketView, said of the appointment: “Finding the right person to fill the vacancy was vital for Tribal given the challenges the company has faced over the last year – its share price fell 85 percent in 2015 as sales momentum slowed, profits slumped and net debt grew.”

She added: “In December, Tribal also announced its move from the main market at the London Stock Exchange to AIM, which is more appropriate for a company of its size [revenues in FY14 were £124m]. Bowles has experience of running AIM-listed businesses and it seems he likes a challenge.”