Bytes COO steps in as interim CFO

14th September 2021 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

JSE-listed software, security and cloud services company Bytes Technology Group CFO Keith Richardson has informed the company of his intention to retire after having served nearly three decades with the company.

Current COO Andrew Holden will assume leadership of Bytes’ finance function as acting CFO with immediate effect, while Richardson will continue to work with him as part of a managed handover period and controlled transition of responsibilities until October 31, when Richardson will step down from the board.

Holden joined Bytes as COO on June 1, having come from JSE-listed technology company Altron – Bytes’ former parent company, from which it demerged in 2020.

He has extensive experience in the information and communications technology sector, having spent more than 27 years at Altron, the past 15 of which were in various senior leadership roles.

Holden’s most recent position was that of COO, which he held for five years, including a period of eight months where he held both the COO and CFO roles simultaneously.

“We would like to express our appreciation to Keith for his dedication and contribution to the group over the past 27 years,” says Bytes CEO Neil Murphy.

“Keith has been ever present since I joined Bytes many years ago and I will be sad to see him go. He has been an integral part of the business and I know the impact of his efforts will continue to be felt well into the future. We wish him the very best in his retirement,” adds Murphy.

Meanwhile, Bytes also reports that it has continued to trade strongly during the first half of the financial year.

During the first half of the year, the company delivered year-on-year low-teens percentage growth in gross profit and high-teens growth in adjusted operating profit, reflecting a performance which has seen corporate sector demand strengthening alongside continued growth from the public sector.

As such, cash collections and conversion have remained strong and Bytes’ operating expenses have also benefitted from ongoing efficiencies.

Murphy says that, with the twin benefits of strengthening corporate demand and continued growth in public sector spend, Bytes closed out the period ahead of expectations.

“While uncertainty remains due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we are confident that our deep understanding of customers’ needs and strong relationships with vendors means we are well-positioned to enhance our market share and to continue delivering against our strategy,” he says.