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CORRECT: SLI Systems CEO Ryan takes innovation role

CORRECT: SLI Systems CEO Ryan takes new role as chief innovation officer, Brennan named CEO

(Corrects IPO sale price to $1.50 in fourth paragraph)

By Jonathan Underhill

Sept. 30 (BusinessDesk) - SLI Systems said founding chief executive Shaun Ryan will move into a role as chief innovation officer and named Chris Brennan as the new head of the online retail search engine developer.

Brennan will start at the company's San Jose office on Oct. 9 while Ryan will retain his position on the company's board, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Ryan held 11.35 percent of the company's stock as at June 30, according to SLI's annual report.

The leadership changes come just a month after Ryan said SLI's shares were "significantly under-priced" compared to other software-as-a-service companies, which were valued at upwards of four times annualised recurring revenue. With ARR of $34.6 million, that suggested a market value of at least $138 million for SLI, he said on Aug. 25.

SLI shares traded at 83 cents yesterday, valuing the company at $51 million, and have shed a third of their value in the past 12 months. They sold at $1.50 apiece in the company's May 2013 initial public offering.

SLI chairman Greg Cross said his board had concluded the best way to accelerate the company's growth was to recruit a US-based CEO with a track record in growing early-stage companies. Brennan was "widely respected" in Silicon Valley, with experience in the technology sector ranging from pre-IPO start-ups to multinationals. He also had "a strong history of integrating well with existing founders and management teams to best use their talents for the company's benefit," Cross said.

SLI's annual loss widened to $7.1 million in the year ended June 30, from $5.7 million a year earlier, while operating revenue rose 27 percent to $28 million, in line with guidance. At balance date the company had $5.6 million of funds on hand and it said it was on track to be cash-flow breakeven in the near term and won’t require further investment.


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