SDL appoints new chairman as software firm splits up dual role

SOFTWARE group SDL has appointed a new chairman, in a move that effectively confirms former chair Mark Lancaster’s permanent role as chief executive.

The Maidenhead-based company said that David Clayton, a former director at FTSE 100 IT firm Sage, would take over as chair at the start of July. Lancaster, who will now relinquish his job as chairman, will carry on as chief executive, a role he reclaimed in November after John Hunter was shown the door.

When Hunter left last year, SDL said that Lancaster, who led the group until January 2011, would hold the chief executive role on an interim basis, but yesterday’s announcement confirmed his permanent position.

“The appointment continues the company’s process of developing best governance practice and allows Mr Lancaster to focus entirely on his role as chief executive during an important stage of the company’s development,” SDL said.

SDL, best known for its language translation software, has had a turbulent few months, blaming falling sales on underinvestment.