Mueller tapped to captain Ariba

Hoping to breathe wind behind the sail of business-to-business (B-to-B) software maker Ariba's drifting vessel, the company announced on Monday that Larry Mueller has been promoted to chief executive officer (CEO).

Formerly president and chief operating officer, Mueller was tapped to captain the B-to-B prodigy's comeback following disappointing first-quarter earnings, job layoffs and the fall-through of a US$2.55 billion acquisition of Agile Software Corp., which the company has pinned on a choppy U.S. economy.

Mueller replaces Keith Krach as CEO. Krach will continue as company chairman.

Mueller, 48, joined Ariba in October of 1999 after stints as president and CEO of 3D-modeling company Imageware Inc., executive vice president for financial software company J.D. Edwards, and a decade of management positions at IBM Corp.

At Ariba, Mueller has been responsible for championing client cost savings while growing the business, the company said in a statement.

Mueller has also been granted a post on the company's board of directors, along with Softbank Corp. President and CEO Masayoshi Son, who replaces board member John Mumford, founder of Crosspoint Corp. Mumford stepped down to concentrate on his entrepreneurial endeavors, Ariba said in a statement.

Mueller promotion marks one in a number of crew changes the company has undergone recently in an effort to strengthen its position in the volatile technology market.

Following the announcement of Mueller's promotion, the company's stock (ARBA) was up 4.87 percent to $7.75 in mid-morning trading Monday.

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