Micro Focus searching for new chief executive in plan to split leadership

FTSE 250-listed software company Micro Focus has announced plans to split the role of executive chairman into separate chief executive and chairman roles over the coming 12 to 24 months.

It comes three years after Kevin Loosemore moved from chief executive to executive chairman, a dual role normally against the codes of corporate governance. The board said the company’s performance over the past three years, with pre-tax profits up 5.1 per cent to $153.4m (£91.7m) last year, justified the decision to appoint Loosemore. The company plans to conduct an “orderly succession” to separate the roles, which will include an evaluation of external and internal candidates for the role of chief executive.

The firm also announced the appointment of Stephen Murdoch as operations chief, effective today. He is currently the general manager of product management, marketing and development since joining from Dell in 2012. Meanwhile, Richard Atkins is joining the board as a non-executive, while senior independent director David Maloney is leaving in September after nine years.

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