Interactive hires Macquarie Capital's Mal McHutchison as new CEO as Christopher Ride steps down

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Interactive hires Macquarie Capital's Mal McHutchison as new CEO as Christopher Ride steps down

Melbourne-based managed service provider Interactive has appointed Mal McHutchison as its new chief executive, replacing managing director Christopher Ride, who has stepped down from the position and moved to a non-executive director role.

McHutchison brings directorial and executive experience to the Interactive role. He joins from Macquarie Capital, where he was head of asset management. He has also served as a non-executive director for Quadrant Energy from April 2016 to September 2017, and for Dominos between December 2015 and September 2017.

Interactive confirmed McHutchison was appointed in October. As chief executive, McHutchison will be responsible for the MSP's overall business in Australia and New Zealand.

His other executive roles include chief commercial officer at UK-based cash automation company Glory, global managing director of branch automation for The Carlyle Group, managing director roles across the UK and Asia Pacific at banknote printer De La Rue and general manager of strategy and business development at Optus Business.

Christopher Ride, who has served as the managing director of Interactive for 25 years, is also the business owner of IT erasure and disposal provider EraseIT and an accomplished author.

Interactive posted revenues of $167.8 million for the 12 months to 30 June 2017. The result represented 5.7 percent growth on a $158.7 million revenue haul in 2016. 

Interactive claims to be Australia's largest privately owned IT company, bigger than rivals such as Sydney-based Brennan IT, which posted revenue of $106 million in 2017, and Bulletproof, which reported revenue of about $49.2 million for 2017.

The company is looking to the channel for its next phase of growth. This year it hired Darren Reid as its first head of partnerships and alliances, following the appointment of Dicker Data as its sole distributor to offer Interactive's hardware maintenance services.

The company's employee count rose from 396 to 417 in the 2017 financial year.

The Australian Financial Review reported that private equity firm Mercury Capital had been in talks to acquire the 30 percent stake in Interactive owned by chief executive Christopher Ride, in a deal reportedly worth about $150 million.

Interactive was established nearly 30 years ago as a hardware maintenance business. Although the company has evolved to offer data centre co-location and cloud, 50 percent of the company's revenue still comes from the maintenance business.

As of 2015, the company supported 250,000 devices, 12,000 metro locations, 6100 remote locations and has 130 techs working at its field and depot repair operations. Interactive claims to be the largest multi-vendor IT maintenance service provider in ANZ, supporting hardware from the likes of NetApp, IBM and Cisco among many others.

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