Changing of the Guard at OpenText
By Jim Lundy
There isn’t much coverage in the press about OpenText as we wrap up the first month of 2012, but there is change afoot in the executive ranks there. OpenText is one of the largest remaining Enterprise Content Management (ECM) firms. John Shackleton has held the reins of President since 1998 and CEO since 2005 and in that time OpenText has grown from a $100M a year in revenues to well over 1.033 Billion. Now the reins have been passed to Silicon Valley Veteran Mark Barrenechea, who most recently was at SGI (formerly Rackable Systems).
The strategy that helped grow OpenText is one that many other Software Titans employ: buying other complimentary Software Companies. This was the strategy that OpenText Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Tom Jenkins told me he was embarking on back in 2004 and OpenText has executed that approach exceedingly well. As it bought numerous ECM related software companies over the years (e.g. Captaris, IXOS, Vignette and others), OpenText has continued to serve those installed base customers and they have continued to pay their software maintenance bills.
John Shackleton didn’t make a lot of waves, but he quietly went about building a team at OpenText that could be rivaled anywhere. While it is still the first month of his new role there, new CEO Mark Barrenechea inherits a well oiled machine on the execution front. The biggest thing Mr Barrenechea will have to get used to is the weather in Waterloo, Ontario, which can be quite chilly for six months of the year.