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Manugistics replaces CEO

Business software maker brings in fresh talent to battle sales slump.

Software maker Manugistics has appointed a new chief executive officer in hopes of reversing a streak of weak earnings and a declining stock price.

The new chief executive, Joe Cowan, replaced Gregory Owens on Thursday. Owens remains the company's chairman. Cowan was formerly the CEO of EXE Technologies, which was acquired last year by SSA Global after a turnaround under Cowan's watch.

Wall Street reacted favorably to the news. Manugistics' shares were trading nearly 7 percent higher than the previous closing price of $2.46.

"In our view, this new CEO is clearly a positive development for Manugistics, as the existing management team has disappointed investors over the past eight months," said JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens in a research note.

Manugistics reported losses in the quarter ended in May and software revenue fell by nearly half that in the same quarter last year. The company's stock has been in steady decline since February.

The Rockville, Md., company specializes in supply chain applications, programs generally designed to help manufacturing companies coordinate factory work and shipping. The company competes with SAP, Oracle and i2 Technologies, the latter of which has also fallen on hard times.