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Sage share price outperforms as group appoints finance chief as CEO

Shares in The Sage Group (LON:SGE) have climbed higher in today’s session as the software specialist appointed its finance chief and interim chief operating officer as its new chief executive. The move came after Stephen Kelly stood down from the top job in August.

As of 10:22 GMT, Sage’s share price had added 3.02 percent to 566.60p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.67 percent higher at 7,162.02 points. The group’s shares have given up just under 24 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a five-percent drop in the Footsie.

Sage appoints new CEO

The Sage Group announced in a statement this morning that it had appointed Steve Hare to the role of Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Hare joined the board in January 2014 as the group’s finance chief, and was subsequently appointed to the additional post of interim chief executive officer on August 31, following the departure of outgoing CEO Stephen Kelly.

The software group’s chairman Donald Brydon commented that Hare had “impressed the Board with the momentum, focus and clarity he has brought to the organisation over the last few months as COO but also throughout his tenure as CFO”.

The Sage Group said that it had started a process to find new finance chief, with Hare to combine his CEO and CFO duties until an appointment was made.

Analysts weigh in on move

“We welcome Mr. Hare’s appointment as CEO and believe the shares will react positively to the news,” analysts at Shore Capital commented in a note, as quoted by Proactive Investors, adding that in their view, the group was “now unlikely to make any radical departures from the current strategy, as some had speculated, as Mr. Hare has been central to the current direction of travel”.

As of 10:36 GMT, Friday, 02 November, The Sage Group plc share price is 567.60p.

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