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Maintel turns to former Avaya boss to step into CEO shoes

It's only taken a few weeks for the managed services player to settle on its choice of who will be its next chief executive

It has only taken a few weeks since Maintel announced that its CEO was stepping down, after a decade running the managed services specialist, for the firm to reveal its succession plans.

At the start of last month the firm used the posting of its interim half-year numbers as an opportunity to reveal that its chief executive Eddie Buxton would leave by the end of December, by "mutual agreement".

He is leaving a business for his successor that has been going through a transition, moving towards higher margin business at the same time as it has developed its own ICON managed services platform, which is making an impact in the market.

Although revenues fell for the first half, pre-tax profits increased thanks to the focus on higher margin business, coming in at £1.5m, compared to a £0.3m loss in the same period last year. Revenue was down by 3% to £64.5m but gross margin nudged up a couple of percentage points to reach 29%.

The H1 numbers also showed that the  ICON platform had continued to deliver growth with the number of contracted seats increasing at 32% to come in over 66,000 and data revenues improved by 6% as more users moved to the cloud.

Stepping into the CEO shoes, from the 14 October, will be former Avaya UK and Ireland managing director Ioan MacRae.

Maintel’s Chairman John Booth said that MacRae came with the industry and market knowledge that the firm was looking for as it looked to embark on the next stage of its development.

“Ioan is the perfect candidate to lead the next phase of Maintel’s development. He has significant experience in our sector and a track record of leading successful business through times of transition and high growth,” he said.

One of the challenges MacRae faced at Avaya and elsewhere in his career was around gaining growth and he is tasked with doing the same again at Maintel as it looks to continue to transition to a high-margin managed services operation.

“Maintel has a great reputation, an enviable customer base and a genuinely market-leading proposition with its ICON suite of cloud and managed services. Having worked with Maintel for many years as a strategic business partner, I am thrilled to be joining such a talented team, and to have the privilege of leading the next stage of the company’s journey," said MacRae.

Buxton will leave the business in a matter of weeks and in the statement that accompanied the announcement that he was leaving there was a sense that his time in the hot seat had come to a natural end after he had taken the business through some major changes.

"Since joining us in 2009 Eddie has overseen a period of significant growth for the Company and has led the transformation of Maintel into a cloud and managed services business. The Board would like to thank Eddie for his strong leadership during this time and wish him well for the future," stated Booth last month.

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