Chris Moore, the chief executive of healthcare IT firm iSOFT has been asked to step down by his board as the company's merger with Torex once again comes under scrutiny in the Court of Appeal this week.
Moore will give up his role as chief executive of the newly-formed company after the board voted to replace him. Moore was the former chairman of Torex before the two companies merged. Following a unanimous decision by the iSOFT board he will be replaced by Tim Whiston, currently iSOFT's group finance director.
In a statement iSOFT said: "Following the completion of a detailed strategic review that has taken place since the merger of iSOFT and Torex, the board of iSOFT has unanimously resolved to appoint Tim Whiston as chief executive officer of the merged group with immediate effect, in place of Chris Moore.
"Chris Moore will step down from his position as chief executive officer and, in view of this, has decided to resign as a director with immediate effect."
An iSOFT spokesperson told E-Health Insider: "It was a mutual decision the board wanted to replace Chris Moore and Chris Moore wanted to go."
The merger between the two software firms, which took place in December, is being examined this week by the Court of Appeal after the Competition Appeals Tribunal in December ruled that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) should look again at the deal. The OFT is this week challenging this decision in the Court of Appeal.
The iSOFT spokesperson said: "We know that the OFT has come to a decision on its second review, but we are awaiting the Court of Appeal decision." No iSOFT senior directors were available for comment as they were at the Court of Appeal.
The decision to replace Moore as CEO is thought to partly to relate to legal challenges brought forward by Australian health IT firm IBA, which has challenged the iSOFT-Torex merger and filed legal claims against Moore personally.
The iSOFT spokesperson confirmed that Moore’s departure removed these challenges for iSOFT:"IBA can now do nothing to disrupt the merger. The IBA challenge to Chris Moore could have created problems for us in the future."
In November 2003 IBA applied to the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal for a review of the decision of the OFT not to refer the proposed merger between iSOFT Group Plc and Torex Plc to the Competition Committee. Competition Appeals Tribunal ruled that the OFT was incorrect in its 7 November decision to allow the merger to proceed.
In the same month IBA also filed a claim in the High Court against Moore, for more than £50,000 alleging he breached his 'fiduciary duty' and had improperly used confidential information while he was a member of the IBA board from May to August 2003.
IBA alleged Moore had failed to serve the interests of IBA shareholders while he was a director of IBA, since, as chairman of Torex, he was also negotiating its merger with iSOFT, a direct competitor of IBA. Moore resigned from the IBA Board in August 2003.
Patrick Cryne, chairman of iSOFT, commented: "Chris has successfully developed Torex into a leading player in the European healthcare IT industry and was instrumental in bringing our two groups together. The whole board would like to thank him for all he has achieved and wishes him well for the future. Tim Whiston is an extremely able successor to the role of chief executive officer and I look forward to working closely with him to continue the success of the iSOFT business."
Moore commented: "I leave the company knowing it is superbly positioned to continue as a leader in the international healthcare systems market. Under the extremely able leadership of both Patrick and Tim, I believe the group will go from strength to strength and they have my full support and best wishes for the future."
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