JBA chief bows to pressure

19 Feb 1999 View Comments
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JBA co-founder Alan Vickery has stood down as chief executive after admitting to mistakes in managing the company, writes Chris Youett.

The manufacturing specialist warned last week that poor sales at the end of 1998 would lead to a loss of around #6.5 million, despite revenues up 32% to #292 million. Shares fell from a high of more than #12 last year to 50p, but recovered to #1.25 last week.

Vickery has surrendered his role as chief executive of the UK software company to Ken Briddon, but remains chairman.

Financial chief David Williams will leave the board next month, and Frank Berger, of Dutch rival Baan, will take over JBA's US operation.

JBA produces manufacturing and logistics software for the food, clothing, electronic goods and automotive component sectors. Customers include brewer Bass, vacuum-cleaner manufacturer Dyson, and US clothing giant Vanity Fair.

'A major boob was not taking enough care over who sold what into which vertical markets,' said Vickery.

Part of the reshuffle has seen Vickery relinquish control of marketing.

He said: 'I have nothing to do with the marketing side now. I only look at what should be in the product at the planning stage.'

JBA's poor share price has laid it open to take-over, but Vickery said: 'JBA would not be a willing bride for less than #5 per share.'

Additional reporting by Steven Mathieson.

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