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Sage chairman leaves after seven months

Horn-Smith gives himself the chop

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The chairman of UK-based accountancy software group Sage has quit, citing irreconcilable differences with the board.

Sir Julian Horn-Smith joined the firm from Vodafone in September, where he had risen to Deputy Chief Executive over 20 years at the operator.

This morning he told the Stock Exchange his tenure at Sage would be more brief, and had resigned with immediate effect. He said: "After careful consideration the Board agreed that the differences in styles and culture meant that change was necessary."

The chair at Sage will be taken by current non-executive director Tony Hobson until the firm finds a permanent replacement. Hobson said: "We would like to thank Sir Julian for the contribution he has made to Sage during his time on the Board and as Chairman and wish him well for the future"

Sage is known for its aggressive acquisition strategy, and at Vodafone Horn-Smith was a key broker of the Mannesman deal which created the world's largest mobile operator, so presumably the disagreement was around how best to integrate Sage's many new businesses. Or maybe Horn-Smith insisted on donuts at board meetings, while the rest of them preferred biscuits. ®

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