Phil Dawes, the brains behind Coda - the financial applications specialist that Baan bought last year - has become one of the last of its top managers to quit amid rumours that the unit is up for sale.
After spending 10 years at Coda, Dawes departs this weekend to become head of research and development (R&D) at Kalamazoo, which sells applications to motor dealers. He had spent his last few years at Coda leading its R&D effort and presenting the internal ?godfather face? to the workforce.
Dawes said: "There comes a point where you have to decide to stop banging your head against a brick wall."
The move means that most of the top management Baan inherited with Coda has now gone, with the exception of Richard Anning, who remains as product marketing manager, and Steve Pugh, who is returning from Baan Americas to fill Coda?s top slot.
But there would now appear to be a question mark over Coda?s future, particularly because the planned integration of Coda Financials with BaanERP has been axed, triggering rumours that a sell off plan is being implemented.
Neville Merritt, marketing director with manufacturing systems supplier, SSI, a former CODA partner, said: "I was under the impression the planned sale is common knowledge."
And he added that Baan?s sales people were struggling to do their jobs, largely as a result of the firm?s financial uncertainty. "I can tell you that partners are the only ones doing deals, he said.
As to whether SSI would be interested in buying Coda itself, Merritt said: "We?d have to see where the price went."
Dawes also admitted that times were tough and that partner relationships were very important to keep sales ticking over. But with regard to any potential sale, he said: "Mary Coleman assured the UK last month that Baan has no intention of selling CODA ? but that could always change."
But Sheila Gibson, Baan European marketing manager, said: "We have no plans to sell Coda. We have received very good feedback on the Coda product and technology." She continued: "Coda was impacted somewhat by the restructuring activities that occurred in the fourth quarter, but we have now finished training our entire sales force on the product. We are working on a better positioning of the Coda product and Baan Financials."
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