Solution 6 investors seem to have given their seal of approval to the resignation of CEO Chris Tyler, as shares in the company surged 27.5 per cent yesterday.
Shares in the 24 per cent Telstra-owned accountancy software company closed on Friday at $3, around one-sixth of the $18 heights that shareholders enjoyed last December. However, after issuing a statement to the ASX yesterday morning that Tyler had resigned, effective immediately, Solution 6 shares grew in value immediately, closing at $3.825 per share last night.
Tyler's resignation follows shadows that were cast over the 42-year-old Texas-born businessman's professional credibility, when reports emerged that Tyler was arrested for marijuana possession in 1985 and headed up a technology company that filed for bankruptcy protection in under six months in 1992.
Solution 6's communications manager, Rushenka Perera, told IDG that Tyler left the company suddenly to spend more time with his family. Tyler, who has already left the country to live in California, was unavailable for comment.
Former Telstra group manager Lindsay Yelland will temporarily succeed Tyler's role. However, Solution 6 will commence its worldwide search for a full-time Tyler replacement in one week.
It is believed that Tyler will retain his option holding in 10,888,874 Solution 6 shares -- or 10 per cent of all company shares issued. With options exercisable at $1.30, Tyler will receive over $14 million upon leaving the company. Tyler has six months to cash in his options.
Additionally, Solution 6 officials said Tyler would continue his association with the company in a consultative capacity for six months, in exchange for his current salary, believed to be about $700,000 annually.
Sausage Software CEO Wayne Bos did not specify whether Sausage planned to reconsider its recent decision to withdraw from acquisition by Solution 6.
He pointed out that Sausage shares had not stopped climbing since the company's "split" from Solution 6.
Sausage shares surged considerably after Solution 6 issued its statement, but closed at $2.30 per share, an increase of just 2 per cent.
Bos said his company would continue to discuss business opportunities with Solution 6.
Likewise, a spokesperson for Telstra said the telco giant's negotiations with Solution 6 would continue unfettered by Tyler's resignation.
Both Perera and the Telstra spokesperson maintained that Telstra, which has a 24 per cent stake in Solution 6, did not prompt Tyler's resignation.
Meanwhile, IT industry analyst Paul Budde expressed concerns about Solution 6's future under the possible long-term helm of Lindsay Yelland. Budde believes Solution 6 will lose the constructive "rebelliousness" brought to the company under Tyler's leadership.
Although Yelland is no longer an employee of Telstra, Budde expects the former Telstra exec will allow Solution 6 to be weighed down in a bureaucracy typical of Telstra's "culture".
Ultimately, Budde predicted, Telstra will increase its holding in Solution 6 to more than 50 per cent. No company that was partly owned by Telstra since the early 1980s had sustained any managerial independence, he said.
Telstra would not comment on the future of its association with Solution 6.