Bytes Technology Group plc has appointed Sam Mudd as permanent CEO and added two independent non-executive directors to its board.

Mudd has served on the company’s board as an executive director since July 2023. She was appointed interim CEO in February when Neil Murphy unexpectedly resigned after he was accused of unauthorised trading in the company’s shares.

His resignation is now being investigated by the software, security and cloud services specialist.

Murphy, then a longstanding member of the Surrey firm’s leadership team, is accused of engaging in 134 unauthorised share transactions from 2021 to 2023. Earlier in FY24, Bytes also initiated an external investigation into the circumstances relating to an undisclosed share purchase by a person closely associated (PCA) with former non-executive director Alison Vincent.

Mudd’s appointment has been made permanent following a selection process led by chair Patrick De Smedt, with support from an external search firm.

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For the past 10 years, Mudd has been managing director of Phoenix Software, acquired by BTG in 2017, where she has overseen an extended period of strong organic growth. She joined Phoenix in November 2003, having previously held senior roles at WordPerfect, Novell Inc. and Trustmarque Solutions.

“I am very excited to be appointed as BTG’s new CEO,” said Mudd. “What has become even clearer in the past few months is the strength of our relationships with customers and the depth of our vendor partnerships. 

“All of this is underpinned by the quality of our people, who I truly believe are some of the best in the industry. It’s an honour to lead them and the wider company in its next chapter.”

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At IPO in 2020, Bytes was valued at £646.6m. Its market cap stands at £1.2 billion today, but its share price – which peaked in January at 647p – has since fallen to 496p.

The company said it expects to confirm the release date for its preliminary results for the financial year ended 29th February 2024 shortly, and also conclude its investigation into Murphy’s resignation before that date.

De Smedt said: “The board is delighted to confirm Sam as CEO. Her knowledge of our business, our customers and our vendors is second to none. As interim CEO and in her previous role as managing director of Phoenix, Sam has demonstrated her natural ability as a leader and her ambition to take BTG forward. 

“The board agreed that she was the outstanding candidate for the role and we are all looking forward to continuing to work closely with her to capitalise on the significant opportunity ahead.”

Meanwhile Ross Paterson has been appointed as a NED and chair of the audit committee, with effect from 1st June 2024. He brings extensive listed company board experience as a CFO and NED.

The company has also announced the appointment of Anna Vikström Persson – previously chief human resources officer at Pearson plc and executive vice president, head of human resources at Sandvik AB and SSAB AB – as a NED from that date. 

The company is also to establish an ESG committee.

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