The former founder, CEO, and chairman of workflow company Staffware, John O’Connell, is to become chairman of Mtivity, a marketing and print management company.
In April 2004 O’Connell helped sell Staffware to Tibco for 128m pounds ($217m at that time). He had run Staffware for 24 years since its inception. Since then, he has invested in and chairs several technology companies including UK-based AIM-quoted Portrait Software. He is also chairman and co-owner of London Wasps Rugby Club.
O’Connell said he joins Mtivity as an investor in the company to lead it on an aggressive growth path.
One of O’Connell’s main objectives as chairman is to capitalize on the company’s partnership with Xerox Global Services, a relationship that positions the Mtivity software as part of Xerox’s worldwide print management and creative services portfolio, the company said in a statement. O’Connell will also help the company in broadening its distribution channel and support continued investment in its range of products and services.
Mtivity CEO Patrick Kremer said: John’s experience adds significant depth to our board. His impressive track record with Staffware, which he built from scratch into a global leader operating in 28 countries and led through successful flotation and acquisition, promises a new approach to our company’s growth and its future success.
O’Connell said: As an investor, I am always on the lookout for businesses aspiring to be global leaders in their field. Mtivity certainly is one of them. It has developed a strong Software as a Service proposition, and its technology partnership with Xerox Global Services, underpinned by excellent customer references, indicates great potential for the company. I look forward to helping the team build on this platform, leading Mtivity to future global success.
Referring to his co-ownership in London Wasps Rugby Club, O’Connell said, I firmly believe a winning attitude in sports translates into a winning attitude in business.
O’Connell is a relatively rare breed: a UK entrepreneur who took on the US software giants, and to at least some degree, won. Staffware may not have grown to the size of its US rivals like Documentum and FileNet, but its workflow software solved a pressing need, mostly it has to be said amongst UK-based firms, for elegant, relatively easy-to-use human-to-human business process management.
For that, then-Staffware CTO Jon Pyke and his development team were surely at least partly to thank, but O’Connell deserves credit for starting, growing, and successfully selling on a UK-based software firm. Good news then for Mtivity, which just happens to be privately held and based in the UK.