J Paul Grayson has resigned as chairman and CEO of Micrografx after 14 years at the helm of the graphics software company he co-founded.
Grayson's departure follows a period of poor financial results. For the first quarter of fiscal1997, covering the three months to 30 September 1996, Micrografx made profits of $300,000 (#176,470), an improvement on last year's corresponding period which showed a net loss of $100,000.
Grayson, whose resignation is effective from the New Year, wants to "pursue other business opportunities and philanthropic interests". He is involved in a wide range of charitable activities, such as the J. Paul Grayson Charitable Foundation and the Micrografx Chili for Children Foundation.
Two years ago he was voted a "Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year" by Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young.
Following his resignation, Douglas Richard has been appointed interim president, Joseph Kupke interim chairman of the board, and Robert Gutekunst vice president of development and development services. Richard was previously vice president of marketing for the company. Kupke, one of the original founders of Micrografx, was formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Since the company's formation, Grayson's key strategy has been to foster a close relationship with Microsoft. For example, the company was one of the first to release products for Windows 95. This strategy looks set to continue, despite the change of leadership.
But Micrografx has been facing increased competition in its core markets.
Rival Visio reckons its market share has been growing at Micrografx's expense. Citing Romtec figures, it claims to have 21% of the graphics market compared to Micrografx's 7%.
Jim Horsburgh, Visio's European managing director, said: "Micrografx is looking for a new direction and focus. It's about results, really - if the team's not getting the results, the team coach is vulnerable."
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