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Corel taps new CEO

Desktop software maker hires former IBM executive David Dobson to be CEO; Amish Mehta is elevated to chairman.

Desktop software specialist Corel announced on Tuesday that it has named former IBM vice president David Dobson as its new chief executive officer.

Dobson, who most recently served as corporate vice president of strategy at IBM and who spearheaded the IT giant's emerging business operations, will succeed Amish Mehta, who is moving into the position of chairman at Corel. The company said Dobson will work closely with leaders at Vector Capital, which acquired Corel in 2003, in an effort to expand the presence of Corel's applications, which include productivity tools such as its WordPerfect document software and its Paint Shop editing software.

Specifically, Corel said Dobson will be tasked with growing Corel's global sales efforts as the software maker works toward the release of six new products over the next several quarters.

Corel said that Mehta will continue to work with the new CEO and remain focused on the company's business opportunities, with a specific focus on identifying potential acquisitions for the firm.

The software maker has recently indicated that it will continue to increase its efforts in the home and small-business sectors, where it competes against companies such as Microsoft and Adobe. One of the largest elements of Corel's strategy in those markets is its partnership with Dell, the world's largest PC seller, which offers the company's software along with some of its machines. The company has also launched a new discount licensing program aimed specifically at colleges and universities.

Before moving into strategic operations at IBM, Dobson served as general manager of the company's Printing Systems Division, and before that held positions within IBM's Personal Systems Group, Systems Group and IBM Canada. Corel is based in Ottawa and Dobson is a native of Canada.