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S1 chief James Mahan steps down

23 October 2006  |  4765 views  |  0 s1

Struggling US fintech vendor S1 Corporation says its founder, chairman and chief executive James Mahan has retired from the company following a "strategic review" of the business.

S1 said in May that it was exploring "strategic alternatives to maximise shareholder value" following demands from unhappy investors to put itself up for sale.

In a letter to Mahan in April a group of investors led by New York-based Ramius Capital, which collectively own a 7.2% share in S1, had called for the sale of the underperforming business. S1 initially rejected the demands in favour of following a new business plan focused on long-term shareholder gains, but the vendor later agreed to explore alternatives.

In today's statement S1 says Mahan had retired from the company. Mahan was named CEO in July 2005, replacing Jaime Ellertson. He had originally served as CEO from 1995 through to 2000 before being replaced by Ellertson.

S1 says director John Spiegel has been elected chairman and it plans to start the search for a new chief executive immediately.

Says Spiegel: "We will remain focused on creating, developing and implementing the best possible products and services to support our customers. We understand our goal and responsibility to maximise value for our shareholders."

He says the board has established a new committee, chaired by Gregory Owens that has been charged with assisting management in improving the company's financial performance.

The vendor also says its board has authorised a "Dutch auction" repurchase of about 15% of S1's outstanding common stock. Based on current market conditions, the buyback is valued at $55 million, at a range of $4.75 to $5.25 a share.

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