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Peregrine CEO Steps Down

Gary Greenfield is succeeded by John Mutch, a member of the San Diego software company's new board.

August 19, 2003|From Dow Jones/Associated Press

Peregrine Systems Inc. said Monday that Chief Executive Gary Greenfield stepped down and was replaced by John Mutch, one of the San Diego software company's new board members.

Greenfield joined Peregrine in June 2002 amid a massive accounting scandal and steered it through layoffs, asset sales and bankruptcy proceedings.

Peregrine emerged from Chapter 11 protection this month and appointed a new board of directors. The company said Monday that James Jenkins, a hedge fund manager at Mellon Financial Corp., was elected chairman.

Greenfield had been expected to continue to run the company, according to court documents, but the new board opted for a change at a meeting held with Greenfield last week.

"In working with the [new] board, it makes sense for someone that has a fresh look" to take the helm, Greenfield said Monday, adding that he was leaving on good terms and had agreed to assist his successor for 90 days.

"There has been a lot of strain on the company in the course of the last year, and I helped to stabilize the company," he added. "At this stage, we need somebody who can marry the old with the new."

Mutch, 47, is the former chief executive of HNC Software Inc. He joined Peregrine's board in March during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Mutch said Greenfield did a "fantastic job turning the company around," but with the bankruptcy completed, new leadership was needed to "develop and operate a growth strategy." Mutch said his top priorities included completing overdue financial statements and getting Peregrine shares re-listed on Nasdaq.

MeeLin Nakata, a Peregrine spokeswoman, confirmed Monday that Frederic Luddy, the company's chief technology officer, resigned last week. Nakata said that Luddy, a 10-year Peregrine veteran, would continue to work with the company for several months and that his resignation wasn't related to Greenfield's departure.

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