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IAR starts hunt for new CEO as Richard Lind plans to retire

Richard Lind plans to retire this year
Richard Lind plans to retire this year

Sweden’s software services company IAR told QA Financial it is searching for a new chief executive.

After three years in the job, current CEO Richard Lind plans to step down later this year, the regional IT security heavyweight confirmed.

“After a successful turnaround, CEO Richard Lind has informed the board of directors of his intention to transition to other endeavours later this year,” IAR wrote in an email.

“Consequently, the board has decided to commence the recruitment process for a new CEO to lead IAR into the next phase of its international growth journey.”

Record years

Lind assumed the role of CEO in September 2021 with a mission to steer IAR towards new growth within three years, explained Nicolas Hassbjer, chairman of the board of IAR.

However, Lind managed, along with the leadership team he assembled, to achieve this goal in two years, Hassbjer stressed.

As the Nordic software veteran turns 60 later this year, “the board understands his desire to pass on the CEO role,” Hassbjer continued, pointing out this was “always the original plan.”

Apart from IAR, Lind continues to be chairman of Flowmotion and has a number of advisory assignments for companies such as Innovation Strategy Forum, Intphiz and PerformanceSK8.

Hassbjer stressed that “the board is confident that succeeding Richard in one of Sweden’s finest deep-tech companies presents a highly attractive opportunity.”

Founded in 1983 in Uppsala, Sweden, IAR provides software and services for embedded development, including QA testing, integration and transition plans and software security and reliability.

Operational shape

IAR has grown to 458 million SEK in annual revenue last year. For the third consecutive quarter, the company did manage to exceed analysts’ expectations, with DNB analyst Joachim Gunell telling QA Financial: “I believe that IAR is in its best operational shape in the six years we have been following the company.”

“During my years as CEO, IAR has undergone extensive cleanup and modernisation, which is expected to be completed this year,” Lind said.

”The company is now stronger than ever, and it is time for new leadership to guide the next growth phase,” he claimed.

Hassbjer was keen to highlight the changes that were implemented during Lind’s time as CEO.

“Firstly, modernisation of the brand, offerings, and organisation, with a focus on efficient processes anchored in a new strategy with clear objectives, based on data-driven decisions.”

Moreover, Lind oversaw a 50 million SEK cost reduction and “a cleanup” of the balance sheet, with over 400 million SEK in intangible assets, Hassbjer continued.

He also pointed out there was a new organisational structure, with a leadership team comprising 42% women.

Also, Hassbjer said there were significant investments in development, the elimination of technical debt, and integration of AI/ML solutions.

Finally, there has been an “enhanced focus on employees with a culture of innovation and decentralized decision-making, making IAR an attractive workplace,” he claimed.

Lind will remain in place until a new CEO has been appointed.

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