JDA Software Group named a new chief executive Monday, promoting Hamish N. Brewer to succeed James D. Armstrong, co-founder of the company, who will remain chairman of the board.
Brewer has been president of the Scottsdale-based software company since April 2001 and a senior officer since 1996. Armstrong was chief executive from the company’s founding in 1985 until October 1997 and again from August 1999 to the present.
As chairman, Armstrong “will retain his active leadership role, focusing on strategic planning, merger and acquisition opportunities, major product direction and key customer relationships,” the company said. Armstrong said in a statement the promotion of Hamish “is timely, is justified by proven performance and is well-deserved.”
JDA makes software for the retail industry that helps retailers better manage their inventory and other operations to improve revenue andJDA: CEO switch described as ‘orderly, planned transition efficiency.
The company has struggled during the past year as retailers cut back on software purchases in response to sluggish consumer spending. But JDA has been showing recent signs of recovery, earning $1.3 million in the second quarter of this year following a $2.2 million loss in the first quarter.
Still, the company’s sales so far this year are running about $22 million behind the pace of last year. To cope with reduced sales, the company late last year cut about 170 positions, or 13 percent of its work force, and consolidated its software development in Scottsdale.
JDA’s stock reached a high of $35 a share in April 2002, then plunged last summer as software sales slumped, hitting a low of $5.10 in October. But the stock has bounced back this year. The shares closed down 11 cents, or .8 percent, at $14.53 Monday on the Nasdaq stock market. JDA board member Jock Patton said the chief executive switch “is an orderly and planned transition, which has been in process for some time.” Patton added that Brewer “has done a remarkable job in helping to mold the company during the past few years and is the natural successor to Jim Armstrong.”
As president, Brewer oversaw all operational aspects of the company, and JDA’s senior management team reported to him. Before becoming president, he served as an account manager from 1994 to 1996; was director of European, Middle East and African operations from 1996 to 1998; senior vice president, international, from 1998 to 1999; senior vice president, enterprise systems, from 1999 to 2000; and senior vice president, global sales, from 2000 to March 2001. Before joining JDA, Brewer was a retail-marketing specialist for IBM from 1986 to 1990. He also held various operational positions with a privately held retail sales organization in England.
He received bachelor of science and bachelor of commerce degrees from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. JDA Software, located at 14400 N. 87th St., Scottsdale, provides software and services to more than 4,800 clients in 60 countries. The company reported revenue of $219.5 million in 2002.