Cirrus Networks COO Chris McLaughlin steps up as acting CEO as Matt Sullivan takes leave of absence

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Cirrus Networks COO Chris McLaughlin steps up as acting CEO as Matt Sullivan takes leave of absence

Cirrus Networks chief executive Matt Sullivan has taken a leave of absence which the company attributed to personal and family reasons.

The Perth-based managed services provider said chief operating officer Chris McLaughlin has stepped in as acting CEO.

Cirrus is in an ongoing fight to stave off a takeover bid from ASX-listed web hosting and IT services firm Webcentral. The back and forth between the companies started in August 2021 and a shareholder meeting is scheduled for 15 October.

At the beginning of the month, Cirrus Networks board director Paul Everingham said he would resign if Webcentral was successful in ousting the three other directors.

As part of the takeover, Webcentral wants to appoint CEO Joe Demase and company secretary Michael Wilton to Cirrus’ board and remove managing director Matt Sullivan, board chairman Andrew Miller and non-executive director Daniel Rohr. Everingham would be the only holdover in the company’s proposal.

“McLaughlin has been a member of the Cirrus executive team for six years,” the company said in a statement to shareholders today.

“He has more than 20 years’ industry experience in business management, engineering and technology and has previously assumed acting leadership positions within the company.”

McLaughlin has been COO since 2017, after first joining Cirrus the previous year as group executive for operations and delivery.

Prior to joining Cirrus, McLaughlin worked as COO at Perth-based engineering design, detailing and 3D modelling company PDC Group from 2013 to 2016.

McLaughlin also worked at L7 Solutions, a Perth-based IT integrator that’s now owned by Cirrus Networks, from 2006 to 2013. Cirrus acquired L7 in 2015 from Vocus.

Cirrus CEO Matt Sullivan also came from L7 Solutions, founding the company in 2004 with current Cirrus board director Andrew Milner. The company was acquired by Amcom in 2011 for $15 million, and was later spun off when Amcom merged with Vocus in 2014. L7 then became part of M2 Group, which owned telco brands Dodo, iPrimus, Commander and Engin, which Vocus acquired in 2015

Sullivan was named Cirrus Networks chief executive in 2016, following the departure of founder Frank Richmond.


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