Blue Yonder, the fast-track Scottsdale shipping and logistics software maker, has named a new CEO as the company prepares to be spun out from parent company Panasonic into a new publicly traded entity.
The new chief executive is Duncan Angove, a veteran tech sector executive with more than 25 years of enterprise software, retail and supply chain experience.
Blue Yonder has not had a permanent CEO in place since Girish Rishi left the company earlier this year to join a Norwegian tech company. Mark Morgan had been serving as interim CEO since February in the wake of Rishi’s departure, and will soon transition out of the company.
Angove, who is currently based in Georgia, where he had been guiding Atlanta-based Arcspring, a tech-focused private equity firm he co-founded in 2019, said Tuesday he is in Scottsdale for meetings with Blue Yonder staff this week. Angove said he will maintain his ties to Arcspring though he’s focused 100% on Blue Yonder.
He said the process to accept the CEO job moved rather quickly.
“When the opportunity was brought to me just a couple of months ago it was fairly obvious that it was a perfect fit for both sides,” Angove said. “People who know me in this industry who saw the announcement said, ‘OK, this makes a ton of sense’. For now, I’m doing a lot of listening and learning as this whole process moves along, getting up to speed.”
The fact that most CEOs now talk about supply chain issues on a daily basis in the wake of the sweeping effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related labor issues puts even more focus on Blue Yonder to deliver results for customers, he added.
“One of the things that attracted me [to Blue Yonder] was this whole zeitgeist around the supply chain that is in the mass consciousness now after the pandemic, the chip shortages, the Suez Canal. It’s the topic du jour and we’re only one of the few companies in this space in such an incredibly hot and important market,” Angove said.
Panasonic plans to spin out new company
In May, the Business Journal reported that Panasonic intended to spin out the new public company centered around Blue Yonder and Panasonic’s other supply chain businesses, but no timeline was mentioned. Panasonic had acquired Blue Yonder for $7.1 billion in 2021.
The money raised through the go-public strategy would boost research and development capacity, add funds to load up for future mergers and acquisitions and hire more people in the United States and Europe.
Panasonic Holdings reorganized its corporate structure earlier this year to include eight subsidiary divisions, one of which is Panasonic Connect, which includes Blue Yonder. Panasonic Connect CEO Yasu Higuchi — who is also Blue Yonder’s board chair — will lead the new public company.
“We recognize the opportunity that Blue Yonder brings to Panasonic Connect’s growth as evidenced by our preparations for a stock exchange listing” Higuchi said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we’re confident that Duncan’s proven track record growing companies such as Infor, Oracle and Retek, as well as his supply chain experience and working with customers, makes him the right leader to take Blue Yonder’s growth and innovation to the next level. We want to thank Mark Morgan for his effective leadership over the past five months while serving as interim CEO and for his many contributions to the company.”
Angove: More for Blue Yonder to accomplish
Angove, who was born in England and has lived in the U.S. for about 25 years, said that despite the company’s solid track record and proven success with a cadre of global customers, there is still a lot more to accomplish.
He said the next opportunity for Blue Yonder, which has focused on delivering a great customer experience in the cloud to businesses on the front end of the supply chain — the first mile and middle mile of the process of moving products — is the so-called last mile fulfillment of product delivery into consumers’ hands or their shopping basket.
“I have a strong belief in putting the products first. Everything else takes care of itself in the [product] lifecycle if you put the focus on the customer,” Angove said.
Angove was previously president of New York-based Infor, an industry cloud applications company with more than 70,000 customers, from 2010 to 2018. Infor was subsequently sold to Koch Industries in 2020. He also held senior executive roles at Oracle and Retek, and currently serves on Honeywell’s board of directors.
In 2021, Blue Yonder grew to just over $1 billion in revenue, and had a strong start to 2022, reporting revenue of $289 million through the first quarter, up $28 million or 11% from the year-earlier period. The company expects to report Q2 results in late July or early August.
Blue Yonder traces its roots back to the 1980s, when it was known as JDA Software. It rebranded as Blue Yonder in 2020.
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