Former CEO John Proctor leaves Martello Technologies after six years at helm

John Proctor headshot
John Proctor has departed Martello Technologies after nearly six years as CEO, the Kanata firm announced Monday. File photo

Martello Techologies CEO John Proctor has left the company after nearly six years at the helm.

The Kanata-based software firm announced Proctor’s departure Monday morning. Martello chief financial officer Jim Clark will assume the top job on an interim basis effective immediately while the board of directors searches for Proctor’s replacement.

“It has been an honour and incredible journey leading the Martello team and contributing to the success of the company,” Proctor, who took over as CEO from Bruce Linton in December 2017, said in a statement.

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“I am immensely proud of what we accomplished together and am confident in Martello’s future.”

The move comes amid a protracted sales slide at the publicly traded firm, which specializes in products that enhance the performance of cloud-based business applications. 

While demand for its software soared early in the pandemic as the sudden, widespread shift to remote work strained wireless networks, Martello couldn’t sustain that momentum. In August 2022, the firm laid off 15 per cent of its workforce as it slashed expenses in a bid to right its financial ship.  

Martello’s revenues fell eight per cent in fiscal 2023 compared with the previous year after the company lost a “large legacy partner” as it transitioned to a new flagship product aimed at Microsoft 365 users.

Meanwhile, the company’s stock price on the TSX Venture Exchange has flatlined. After hitting a high-water mark of nearly 80 cents in the summer of 2019, Martello shares are now trading at just two cents, the same price they’ve been at for most of the year.   

Still, in a statement thanking Proctor on Monday, Martello chairman Terry Matthews said the company remains “positioned for future growth” despite the ongoing turbulence.

“We are facing an exciting but challenging market environment, where innovation, agility, and customer focus remain essential,” Matthews said. “We are confident that Jim Clark, together with the new CEO, will drive the company towards growth and market leadership.”

Founded in 2009, Martello quickly established itself as a leader in its field. The firm finished atop OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2015 and went public on the TSX Venture Exchange three years later, shortly after Proctor came on board.

Under the new CEO’s guidance, Martello continued to expand. A veteran of the Canadian and British armed forces who later served as vice-president of cybersecurity at global IT consulting powerhouse CGI, Proctor oversaw a series of acquisitions that expanded the company’s reach into Europe and added new services.

The firm originally targeted users of Mitel’s communications systems. But in recent years, it has shifted its focus to Microsoft platforms. 

Although Mitel customers still make up a large share of Martello’s revenues, the company’s flagship product is now Vantage DX, which troubleshoots issues with applications such as Microsoft Teams. 

Proctor is the second member of Martello’s C-suite to exit the company in less than two years.

Erin Crowe, who helped guide the company through its initial public listing on the TSX-V, stepped down as CFO in late 2021 to rejoin the Ottawa Senators’ front office.

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