Former Dimension Data New Zealand chief executive officer Wayne Yarr is set to replace Sam Minnée as CEO for Wellington-headquartered open source content management system (CMS) provider Silverstripe, with the new appointment taking effect from mid-March.
Minnée has held the CEO role for the company he helped to found in 2000 for nearly a decade, holding the positions of CTO and development director before taking on the top job.
Last October, Minnée announced that he would step aside as Silverstripe CEO to focus on his role as a director of the company and to work on new projects, according to a post by the company on social media.
Now, after what appears to have been a multi-month search for a new CEO, the company has named NTT go-to-market growth partnerships director for the UK and Ireland Wayne Yarr as its top choice to replace Minnée in the top job.
“It's official: I will be stepping down as Silverstripe CEO from the end of March, with Wayne Yarr taking over,” Minnée said in a post on social media. “It's been an awesome journey and I’m really excited [to see] where Wayne and the team take it from here.
“After 21 years, I'm looking forward to taking some time before a new challenge,” he added.
While Yarr, who is set to step into the new role on 15 March, has spent the better part of the past year with NTT in the UK, he is a familiar face in the New Zealand channel, having held the role of Dimension Data New Zealand CEO from 2017 to 2019.
Before heading up Dimension Data in New Zealand, Yarr worked with the company in the UK, spending 10 years with the IT services provider, which was acquired by NTT in 2010 – with the Dimension Data brand retired in most regions in 2019 to be brought under the NTT banner.
From 2007 to 2012, Yarr was Dimension Data’s global services business group vice president, a role he took after spending time as the company’s strategic services group vice president. He has also done time at Xerox and Virgin Media.
Between working with Dimension Data in the UK and taking up the NZ CEO role for the company, Yarr worked with Avaya as vice president of cloud services business in EMEA and Asia Pacific. He was also chief customer office for Capita in the UK until 2017, when he took on the Dimension Data NZ CEO role.
“I am excited to be joining Silverstripe as CEO in March,” Yarr said in a blog post. “It is a rare opportunity and a privilege to lead and build on the platform which Sam Minnée and his team have grown over the past 21 years into the highly trusted and well-regarded business it is today.
“Throughout my career leading businesses in the digital technology and services market, both in New Zealand and internationally, I’ve worked closely with many senior leaders and Silverstripe clients. All have spoken highly of the company and its people, and of the positive impact it has made for governments, banks, and organisations in a range of sectors.
“As I’ve been telling people in my network about my move to Silverstripe, the positive reaction has been overwhelming,” he added.
Yarr said he was looking forward to leveraging his background and experience to continue growing the Siverstripe business.
News of the new appointment comes several months after the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) decided to extend Silverstripe's contract to provide the government's Common Web Platform (CWP) by one more year.
The original contract was due to conclude in September last year, with a six month disengagement period for agencies to transition to a new solution by March 2021.
However, with the impact of COVID-19 it was important to DIA and Silverstripe to stay focused on providing government agencies with a secure and stable platform that would help them keep citizens at the centre of government digital services delivery, Silverstripe said in a statement at the time.
As an approved supplier on the government's Marketplace, Silverstripe said it was available to assist agencies while they decide what their next steps are for their digital services.
Catalyst Cloud appeared to be positioning itself for a run on the contract at the time, when it launched a partnership with amazee.io to deliver the same platform used by the Australian government for its GovCMS service.