Alsop resigns; Progress Software names new CEO

Co-founder Alsop turns company over to 24-year Progress veteran Richard Reidy

Joseph Alsop has resigned as CEO of the company he founded, Progress Software Corp., and turned the reins over to longtime company executive Richard Reidy.

Reidy, who joined the company in 1985, was one of the original developers of Progress Software's OpenEdge application development tools, and subsequently held a number of positions, most recently chief operating officer.

There had been a formal succession process in place "for many, many months" prior to Monday's announcement, Reidy said. Alsop, who co-founded Progress in 1981, is also planning to step down from the board but will remain a major shareholder, he added.

Reidy said his top priority is to roughly double the company's annual revenue to $1 billion by reorienting sales toward multiproduct suites, and targeting business executives rather than IT workers.

The company also plans to grow through additional acquisitions, he said. In recent years, the company has scooped up a range of vendors, most recently Iona Technologies.

Progress also plans to market its CEP (complex event processing) software, now sold primarily to stock trading firms, to additional verticals, such as transportation logistics. The CEP software locates patterns and correlations amid the many daily electronic transactions or "events" that occur in a business. The tool takes specific actions based on what is found among the transactions and events.

Overall, Progress "has quite a few good assets in the SOA and integration markets," said ZapThink analyst Ronald Schmelzer via e-mail. "However, they are in many ways a second-tier vendor competing against the much more entrenched incumbents: IBM, Oracle, Software AG, HP and Microsoft."

Market consolidation, such as Oracle's purchase of BEA, has further cemented the position of the incumbents, Schmelzer added.

But this in turn "makes Progress continue to be a good second choice when end users aren't first considering their existing incumbent vendors," he said. "Without Progress itself getting acquired by one of the 'big guys,' I don't see how this dynamic will change."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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