Merant Names New CEO, Moves West

Merant , a provider of enterprise software solutions today announced that Gerry Perkel will join Merant as president and chief executive officer, and that the company’s operational headquarters will move from Rockville, Md. to Hillsboro, Oregon.

Perkel, age 46, joins Merant from his executive role at Xerox as president of the Office Printing Business. Prior to Xerox, Mr. Perkel was president of the Color Printing and Imaging Business of Tektronix. He has also handled sales, marketing and general management responsibilities with several of software/system products.

Perkel will succeed Merant’s previous CEO, Gary Greenfield, who in June, 2001 announced he would step down from this role after 14 years with company. Perkel says his main reason for accepting the position, which he has been entertaining for the last two months, was the opportunity for promotion it presented: “I was looking to take on a role as CEO and have had desires to run a company for a while,” he says.

Merant’s other announcement, that it will move its operational headquarters to Hillsboro, Oregon, was a second reason for Perkel’s move as he is already located there with Xerox.

Merant’s move to Oregan is a deliberate one so it can be closer to the primary development, sales and support staff for Merant PVCS, the company’s portfolio of enterprise change management products.

While Merant’s registered and head office will remain in Newbury UK, the move further west will make Merant the second-largest software company headquartered in Oregon. The cost of the move is estimated at between $15 million to $20 million, a portion of which is expected to be charged to its discontinued operations.

“It makes more sense for us to move our headquarters away from our divested businesses,” says Larry De’Ath, VP of communications at Merant. The company announced in June its intention to concentrate on its core product families and restructure on a business unit basis. Since then, the company sold its Cobol business, Micro Focus, and has an agreement to sell its enterprise data connectivity business, DataDirect.

With headquarters in Oregon, Perkel can begin his new role refocusing the business in the software change management marketplace. “I am very excited about the opportunity at Merant,” says Perkel. “There is clearly a growth opportunity for Merant in the enterprise change management market and I believe Merant PVCS is well positioned to capitalize on that market opportunity,”he says.

He expects there will be some similarity with the new role and his responsibilities at Xerox but it ends there: “Having been in the market of selling high end products, I expect there to be some crossover within the general market, but as for Merant’s PVCS and larger ASP interests, I am viewing this as an exciting challenge to be part of a market with more pace and profit potential,” he says.

Pinkel will start as CEO in October and Greenfield will continue to serve as a director of Merant.

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