ANT loses CEO
Simon Woodward has left ANT plc after more than 15 years spent as CEO, during which time the company he helped grow the company into an international brand, listed on the London Stock Exchange.
No reasons have been given for Woodward’s departure, which is immediate with ANT finance director, Pauline Ingram, stepping in as interim CEO. However, with non-executive directors stepping in to support the management team and undertake executive duties until a new CEO is appointed, it appears the decision was fairly sudden.
ANT began life in 1993 producing ethernet cards for the Acorn Archimedes. It added related client software including web browsers, FTP and email, what was known then as the internet suite.
Simon Woodward’s arrival coincided with a repositioning of the company away from hardware and onto software – the UK home-grown computer industry had begun to fade and the Acorn market evaporate – which eventually focused on TV.
Following an angel investment and three VC rounds, Woodward took the company public in 2005, raising £11.2m with a market capitalisation of £30m and it now provides embedded software solutions and services for the TV industry, similar to the ‘red button’ services seen on UK digital televisions.
However, it has since failed to fully realise its potential. Market cap is just over £4m and it is yet to generate a pretax profit. Revenues have only increased from around £2.5m in 2005 to £4.5m in 2011 with staff numbers stable at between 40 and 50 people. Following today’s announcement the ANT’s share price dropped 1.4 per cent, down 0.25p to 18 pence a share.