Enterprise software maker J.D. Edwards & Co. announced this afternoon that its board of directors appointed a new president and CEO.
Robert M. Dutkowsky is replacing the companys founder and longtime leader, C. Edward McVaney, who will retire.
Dutkowsky, 47, was brought in to J.D. Edwards from Teradyne Inc., where he was president of the Assembly Test Division. Prior to that, Dutkowsky was president and CEO at GenRad Inc., which was acquired by Teradyne in October of last year.
Dutkowsky also has a 20-year history at IBM, where he held a number of roles. He started his career there as an executive assistant to IBM Chairman, President and CEO Lou Gerstner. He later served as vice president of distribution for IBM Asia Pacific and as vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for IBMs RS/6000 Division.
Despite the fact that he has little background with enterprise software, Dutkowsky said knows how to take make JDE the leader.
"This year marks my 25th year in the IT industry," said Dutkowsky, in Denver. "Way, way back when, I sold JDE applications to some of my best customers. Most of my career was spent not writing app code, but in convincing customers that apps are [central to their business]. If theres anything I understand, its the value of applications and of ERP."
While most enterprise resource planning software makers have shied away from the ERP moniker over the past couple years, Dutkowsky said he will maintain JDEs focus as a midmarket ERP provider.
Dutkowsky said his main focus will be in figuring out how to get more leverage out of JDEs already strong technology, customer base and skilled work force.
However, his main charter over the next six months is keeping JDEs 6,000 customers happy, according to industry analysts, and in getting that install base to buy JDEs integrated YOUcentric CRM software.
"The data that I saw is only 6 percent [of JDEs customers] have CRM installed; 94 percent dont," said Dutkowsky. "Who are they going to look to? The company that helped build their infrastructure. That market is ours to lose, and we dont intend to."
Indeed, JDE is in a better position this quarter than it has been over the last two years, according to analysts.
McVaney came out of retirement a year and a half ago to pull the company out of its doldrums and turn around the deleterious effects of a CEO McVaney instated in 1998.
"At a critical point in the evolution of the company, when JDE should have been doing something in the form of leadership, they got this CEO that wasnt doing anything," said Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, a research firm in Daly City, Calif. "McVaney came back and really shook things up, got things in shape."
Dutkowsky has been left with a strong executive team. Hank Bonde continues as chief operating officer, and Rick Allen remains as chief financial officer. Dutkowsky said he doesnt foresee additional changes in the executive team.
The new CEO does recognize some weaknesses in the company, however.
"Maybe were too broad," said Dutkowsky. "We may have too many products with too much complexity, and therefore we may not be able to articulate our value the best way."
As a result, Dutkowsky will concentrate on finding a way to bundle applications and better train the sales staff.
Dutkowskys ultimate goal is for JDE to be the leader in ERP and e-business market share, going toe-to-toe against competitors Oracle Corp., SAP AG and PeopleSoft Inc.
"Its not that way today," said Dutkowsky. "Were not winning in every case. We have to figure out why that is. Winning is what it is all about, and until you can say youre the market share leader, youre not winning all the time."
McVaney will remain a member of the board of directors and will hold on to the chairmans position until the companys annual stockholders meeting in March. Dutkowsky will take on the chairman responsibilities at that time.
McVaney said in a press release that the appointment of Dutkowsky means is that he can move on to a new phase of life, confident that he is leaving JDE in excellent shape as well as capable hands.
During his McVaneys nearly 25 years at J.D. Edwards he has overseen its growth from a developer of software for small and medium-size companies, to a creator of ERP software for the AS/400, to a maker of business-to-business e-commerce software. McVaney will leave a company that has more than $1 billion in annual revenue led by its flagship ERP software suite, OneWorld.