Baan management still shifting

The troubled business management software maker appoints Mike Shinya as executive vice president of worldwide sales and Paul Daly as president of its Americas region.

2 min read
Baan continues its management shuffle.

The troubled business management software maker today said it has appointed Mike Shinya as executive vice president of worldwide sales and Paul Daly as president of its Americas region. Shinya was previously president of Baan's EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Daly was vice president of sales for North America.

Today's announcement comes just a week after Baan CFO James Mooney left the struggling company, which immediately followed the abrupt resignation of Baan CEO Mary Coleman at a time when the company is faced with critical financial hurdles.

After Coleman's departure, the Dutch firm, which makes enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to help manage a company's financials and human resources needs, has since seen its stock plummet. Baan, which last month traded at an average price of $14 a share, has recently been trading in the $6 to $8 range. The company expects to post a loss of as much as $250 million for its upcoming fourth quarter and said it will close 14 offices and reduce its workforce by about 4 percent.

Stephen Palfrey, a financial analyst at Sanford Bernstein, said recent executive changes have put into question the state of the company, possibly even as an attractive takeover target.

"The potential outcome here (for Baan) is to possibly be acquired," said Palfrey, who currently has a "market perform" rating on the company's stock. "A reasonable takeover with a price in the $4 to $7 range either in pieces or as a whole isn't out of the question."

Palfrey added that in the next few months, Baan has to make a huge effort in changing the way its customers and the investor community views it.

"(Baan's transformation into an Internet player) really is a question on how they decide to focus their strategy in the next few months," he said. "They need to be extremely focused on where they're trying to go."

Baan's competitors in the ERP software business have also lost key executives recently. PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield left his post as chief executive last September but remained as board chairman. A host of senior executives have left German software giant SAP in the past year, including SAP America president Jeremy Coote.

Analysts say that while the ERP market isn't completely dead, it has certainly slowed as business software makers, including SAP, Baan, J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft, shifted their focus to the Internet to try to replicate the wild success of business-to-business software makers Ariba and Commerce One, companies that make applications that help businesses buy and sell goods and services online.