Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly has over 25 years of delivering outstanding success in company growth and value creation. Stephen has commanded Board, Executive, and Operational roles at a series of highly successful, market-leading software companies.

Stephen was recently appointed CEO of Sage Plc, and Stephen has previous unique experience gained as the CEO and Board Director of a top 200 UK FTSE Company and of a US NASDAQ public company.  He has consistently created a high-growth company culture in complex, diverse and international businesses that have operated out of New York, California and the UK.

Stephen started his career joining Oracle Corporation shortly after its IPO in 1987. Here he held various leadership mandates including Director of European Telecoms, Financial Services and Retail. Throughout his 10 years at Oracle, Stephen grew his business area by greater than 100% per annum. During this time the company grew to become the world’s 2nd largest software company.

Stephen joined Chordiant in 1997, taking over as company CEO in 2002. His 9-year tenure saw the company grow rapidly from a small start-up. Stephen was the driving force behind this growth including key activities such as raising finance, setting up global operations and navigating through a highly successful IPO that resulted in Chordiant becoming one of the US NASDAQ’s leading Customer Relationship Management companies. Under Stephen’s leadership Chordiant was named as a top 50 fastest growing company, having achieved growth from zero to $75m in revenues in less than 5 years.  As recognition for his work Stephen was enrolled into the Directors College at Stanford Law School in 2005. Stephen stepped down in 2006 to return to Europe.

In 2006 Stephen took the role of CEO at troubled software giant Micro Focus. Prior to Stephen’s appointment, Micro Focus revenues had significantly declined. Stephen led the transformation from internal focus to a market driven culture, from decline to a growth culture.  During Stephen’s tenure, Micro Focus achieved year-on-year double digit organic growth, overall tripled revenues, raised EBITDA margins from 20% to 40%, added $1bn to the market cap and completed 7 acquisitions with rapid integration and consistent culture & values around the globe. Micro Focus is now a top 200 UK public company by market value.

Stephen has also found time in his busy schedule to spearhead the IT Manifesto to the UK Government, which launched in Parliament and outlines the policies needed for a thriving science & technology industry. He is a regular and sought after keynote speaker at events including Venture Capital and PE Forums, International Forums and visiting MBA lectures.

Stephen is an honors graduate of Business Administration from Bath University and currently holds a number of board advisory positions.