Peregrine Systems Names New President, Chairman

Analysts suggest the company may be looking for a buyer.
Peregrine Systems Inc., makers of asset and service management software, appointed John Mutch its new president and CEO on Monday, just weeks after the company emerged from nearly a year in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mutch takes over for Gary Greenfield, who had been the company's president and CEO since June 2002. Mutch, 47, most recently served as president and CEO of HNC Software, which was acquired by Fair, Isaac and Co. Inc. in August 2002.

Greenfield's departure came as a surprise to some analysts, who suggest the company could be looking for a buyer. Although Peregrine won't confirm any rumor of an imminent sale, John Ragsdale, a research director with Forrester Research, speculates that IBM could be a suitor. Peregrine software works well with IBM's Tivoli management apps, and IBM Global Services is a strong sales channel for Peregrine ServiceCenter and AssetCenter software.

Peregrine filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2002 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission determined that the company would have to restate financial results for 11 quarters in fiscal years 2000, 2001 and 2002, reducing reported revenue of $1.34 billion by $509 million.

The company also last week also appointed James Jenkins, 55, as its new chairman. Peregrine had appointed a new board of directors on August 7, the day it formally announced the completion of its Chapter 11 restructuring. Jenkins had since July 2002 been a portfolio manager at Mellon HBV Alternative Strategies LLC.