Site search technology provider SLI Systems hires a new CEO

September 30, 2015 04:46 PM

SLI Systems Ltd., a vendor of site search technology to e-retailers, has hired a Silicon Valley technology insider as its new CEO. Chris Brennan takes the leadership position Oct. 9, replacing co-founder and CEO Shaun Ryan, who will become chief innovation officer.

SLI Systems points to Brennan’s track record for growing technology companies and fundraising prowess in explaining his hire. “To more quickly accelerate our growth, the SLI board of directors has recruited a Silicon Valley veteran with a consistent track record in growing technology companies, someone who will take that proven know-how and apply it to the opportunities at SLI,” says Greg Cross, chairman of SLI’s board.

87 of the 1000 largest e-retailers ranked by their North American web sales use SLI Systems in for site search, making the vendor the No. 2 provider of site search technology to e-retailers in the region, second to Oracle Corp., according to Internet Retailer’s recently published 2016 Leading Vendors to the Top 1000. That was up from 82 in 2013. Publicly traded since 2013, the 14-year-old SLI Systems is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has offices around the world. Brennan will be based in San Jose, Calif.

However, SLI’s client retention rate slipped during the 12 months ended June 30, according to the vendor’s annual report, to 87% from 90%. The vendor says the slip was due to a “small number of large clients who switched e-commerce platforms.” It says it has 586 customers globally, up from 511 in the prior year, and that more than 1,000 websites across all industries use its services. (Internet Retailer is an SLI Systems customer).

The vendor’s revenue increased 27.7% during the same period to $28.6 million in New Zealand dollars ($18.3 million). But its net loss also widened, growing 24.6% from a loss of NZ$5.7 million ($3.6 million) to a loss of NZ$7.1 million ($4.5 million). Its IPO stock price stock was NZ$1.50 a share ($0.96). Today it closed at NZ$0.79 a share ($0.50).

Brennan’s resume is peppered with CEO jobs, including at NetAuthority Inc., a security software firm that is no longer active; Contactual Inc., a web-based contact center platform acquired by 8x8 Inc. in 2011; and LogLogic Inc., a software vendor acquired by Tibco Software Inc. in 2012. Brennan also is a board member of MarketLive Inc., an e-commerce services provider. He says he intends to expand SLI’s market share and add services. 




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