Mobile Industry on the Move June 21

By Mobile Enterprise Editors — June 21, 2014

Kony, Inc. has raised $50 million in financing. New investor SoftBank Capital, a venture capital firm affiliated with SoftBank Corp., led the round that included increased investment by existing investors—Insight Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures, and Georgian Partners—and new funding from Delta-V and Hamilton Lane.   

Yankee Group Principal Analyst Chris Marsh commented, “That’s a whole lot of funding Kony just received. It rather begs the question of why? The company had previously been caught on the wrong foot by newer platforms bringing to market more flexible and extensible cloud-based offerings. This led Kony to undertake a fairly significant update, perhaps more accurately called an overhaul, of its Kony Experience platform last year to try and follow suit. The changes it made we believe were broadly in the right direction but it will have burned through an awful lot of cash ringing in the changes. One thing is for sure, it can’t just go on resorting to raising huge chunks of investment without a longer term strategy to get to profitability and organically grow the business. Kony's CFO commented as part of the funding announcement that it is considering a number of options to grow the business, but it's not immediately clear what the right formula should be beyond a mooted IPO exit.”

Absolute Software
Absolute Software has appointed Geoff Haydon, formerly of EMC Corporation, as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors—where he will be responsible for leading the company’s global business efforts.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Geoff’s caliber lead Absolute,” stated Daniel P. Ryan, Chairman of Absolute. “With his background in enterprise security software and his proven track record of growth and experience in both North American and global markets, he is the right person to take Absolute to the next level in terms of revenue growth, global reach and increased profitability.”

Haydon brings more than 20 years of IT experience to the new role, with his most recent as COO for EMC’s Asia-Pacific and Japan region. Prior, Haydon was VP of Americas Sales at RSA (a division of EMC) where he was responsible for creating and executing the company’s market strategies. Under his leadership, RSA’s business in the Americas consistently outperformed its business and market share objectives and delivered strong double-digit growth.

Before the Americas position, he ran the RSA business for Asia Pacific and Japan—where he more than doubled the company’s market share in the region.

As part of the transition, Rob Chase, Absolute’s former CEO, announced he is leaving the company to pursue other interests. However, he will continue to be involved with the company in a more limited capacity as a strategic advisor.  Also, Errol Olsen, who served as interim CEO, will continue in his role as Absolute’s Chief Financial Officer.

CIO of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), Karen Austin, will be joining VeriFone’s Board of Directors.

Austin joined PG&E in 2011, managing and directing IT systems and cyber security initiatives that support PG&E’s customer touch points. She was responsible for transforming the enterprise into a more innovative company that leveraged and digitized big data to enhance energy management for both the utility and its customers.

Prior to PG&E, she has held several executive-level positions at Kmart including: Divisional VP of Supply Chain Applications; VP of IT Applications; and VP for Applications Development; and CIO and Interim Chief Marketing Officer.  She also served as SVP, CIO and President of Consumer Electronics at Sears.

“We are very excited to welcome Karen to the board. The technology expertise she’s demonstrated at some of the nation’s largest retailers as well as her strong leadership in implementing change across PG&E will be a great asset for VeriFone and our executive team,” said Alex W. Hart, chairman of the board, VeriFone.

Acer’s Board of Directors have elected George Huang to succeed Stan Shih as the new Chairman, and invited Shih as honorary chairman. Prior to the new role, he had previously served as executive secretary of the company’s Transformation Committee—with the responsibility of reversing persistent losses occurred from falling PC demands due to the increase of smartphones and tablets.

“George is one of the co-founders of Acer and has been a long-time member of the Board. Since his return to Acer last November as executive secretary of the Transformation Committee, he has been instrumental in driving the company restructuring and in helping to develop our new vision,” said Stan Shih, Acer Founder. “He is therefore the ideal candidate to lead Acer at this important time.”


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