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ActiveState loses CEO, enlists chairman

The programming language specialist says expansion plans are behind the resignation of founder and CEO Dick Hardt and the naming of a new board leader Nick Bedford.

Dick Hardt, the founder and chief executive of programming language specialist ActiveState, has resigned as part of a plan to expand, the company said Thursday.

At the same time, the provider of software and services for users of open-source programming languages such as Perl, PHP, Python and Tcl announced that it has named a new chairman in an effort to increase the 45-person company's size and revenue.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company named Nick Bedford to take the newly created post of chairman of the board. Hardt will stay on as a board member and advisor, but the search is on for a new chief executive.

"The company is looking to become a $100 million company, and they're looking for someone...that has that experience," said spokeswoman Lori Pike, adding that ActiveState is profitable.

The company counted about $3 million in revenue in 2001 and expects to increase that to $9 million this year, Pike said. Next year, it is aiming to reach $20 million.

To meet these goals, ActiveState will hire new staff to expand its work force to 60 or 64 by the end of this year and to 120 by next year.

The initial expansion will be funded with current company resources, but next year ActiveState might seek a round of financing in the first or second quarter, Pike said.