NZX-listed Plexure Group has announced the departure of its chief executive Craig Herbison, with immediate effect. Herbison has also resigned from the mobile marketing company's board.
Shares, which were trading at 71c before the 11am filing, were down 13 per cent to 60c in midday trading.
The stock is down 59.8 per cent for the year.
The NZX filing said that Herbison wanted to spend more time with his family. No succession plan was mentioned.
Plexure director Jack Matthews told the Herald that people shouldn't read too much into the seemingly abrupt nature of Herbison's departure.
"This didn't come out of thin air. Craig has expressed concerns about work pressure and wanting to spend more time with his family for a while."
"All of our customers are overseas." Matthews said. That introduced an element of stress, albeit for different reasons pre- and post-outbreak. "Craig's gone from constant air travel to no travel," the director said.
The search for a successor will begin immediately.
"The last few years have been demanding for me personally, including significant amounts of international travel, and this decision reflects my desire to focus on other priorities, including my young family," Herbison said in the NZX filing.
Chairman Phil Norman said, "Since joining Plexure in September 2017, Mr Herbison has led the business through a significant transition from a loss making entity to becoming cashflow positive and profitable in 2018 and 2019.
"Under his strong leadership, the business was scaled up for growth in 2020 and 2021, with investments being made in technology, the company's product portfolio, and its people, including a number of new senior executive appointments."
Herbison was previously director of retail banking for BNZ and previously director of brand and marketing for Spark.
Plexure makes loyalty and online ordering smartphone apps for clients including McDonald's. The fast-food giant - which is also a 10 per cent anchor shareholder - accounts for some 50 per cent of the software company's revenue, according to a Forsyth Barr estimate. Other clients include the White Castle chain in the US (one of the few countries where McDonald's uses in-house developed software rather than Plexure's app).
But it was not to be.
In May, Plexure revealed a $7.9 million loss in the 12 months to March 31 amid challenging Covid-induced conditions and said a key issue now was finding staff.
The Auckland firm increased its revenue by 15 per cent to $29.1m in the period. Its reoccurring revenue from licence and support fees increased by 14 per cent to $18.3m.
The company did not provide earnings guidance for the year ahead.
Plexure struggled to hire and retain qualified staff to support its growth ambitions throughout the year. Its staff headcount ended the year at 150 - compared to 163 at the end of its half-year, and well below its target of 190 staff, Norman said.