SAS president steps down

Data analysis software vendor SAS Institute Inc. confirmed today that its president and chief operating officer has resigned after only six months in that job. Andre Boisvert's departure comes on the heels of two other senior employee resignations in the past month.

Boisvert was originally hired last February to handle investments and acquisitions at SAS. He was promoted to president last September, taking over much of founder, Chairman and CEO Jim Goodnight's operating responsibilities and heading up an effort to go public that was started several years before (see story).

In a statement issued today, Goodnight said he will once again be sticking "closer to home" in the wake of Boisvert's departure. "Any changes we make at SAS are made with an eye toward not just what's good for investors, but, more importantly, what's good for employees and customers," Goodnight added.

A spokesman at the Cary, N.C.-based company said Boisvert and Goodnight didn't have a falling out or a difference of opinion on the strategic direction of SAS.

In the past month, Marianna Suciu, former president of SAS America Inc., resigned to become vice president of sales at Seattle-based Onyx Software Corp., a customer relationship management software vendor. Stephen J. Wiehe, SAS's senior director of strategic investments and mergers and acquisitions, also resigned to become CEO of SciQuest.com Inc., a Web-based retailer of scientific and laboratory products.

"Andre's departure does not signal any change in the direction of the company, and SAS is still firmly committed to preparing for an initial public offering," Goodnight said in the statement.

Goodnight announced last spring that he intended to take the software company public in 2001, but earlier this year he said that would be postponed for a year. A spokesman confirmed today that the initial public offering is expected to take place by mid-2002.

SAS has seen boom times recently, with more than $1 billion in sales in 1999 -- a 17% increase over the previous year. The company predicts it will see at least twice that amount by 2003 and $3 billion by 2005.

Goodnight added that, among other things, he will strengthen SAS's sales organization by doubling the number of salespeople this year, expanding telesales and building infrastructure "with our new financial systems coming online late this summer or early autumn."

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Copyright © 2001 IDG Communications, Inc.

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