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Smart Libraries Newsletter [July 2013]

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Abstract: David “Skip” Prichard has been named as OCLC's new President and Chief Executive Officer. Axel Kaschte has joined OCLC as its Product Strategy Director for EMEA. Innovative Interfaces has hired Steve Nielsen as its new Vice President of Strategic Accounts. Brower Roberts, one of the pioneers of the library automation industry, died on May 24, 2013 at the age of 74.


OCLC Appoints New President

Following a renewed year-long executive search, David “Skip” Prichard has been named as OCLC's new President and Chief Executive Officer. OCLC has been seeking a new President and CEO since Jay Jordan announced his retirement in June of 2011. Jack B. Blount was tapped for this position in June 2012, but that appointment was abruptly withdrawn shortly thereafter. Jordan delayed his retirement to remain at the helm of OCLC another year, giving the organization stable leadership through the extended search process. Prichard's term as President and CEO will become effective on July 1, 2013.

Prichard comes to OCLC with extensive experience with large and complex companies in the library and publishing arena. He has previously held leadership positions at Ingram Content Group, ProQuest Information and Learning, and LexisNexis. Each of the organizations in which he has held leadership positions is involved in providing services to libraries, consistent with OCLC's mission. OCLC's structure as a non-profit membership organization presents a different set of challenges. Jay Jordan likewise had a corporate background, with a 24-year career at Information Handling Services. It seems that this time around OCLC has opted for high-caliber professional executive management rather than a more entrepreneurial personality. Most recently, Prichard served as the CEO of Ingram Content Group, a very large organization with around $1.5 billion in annual revenues employing more than 3,000 personnel.

OCLC's annual revenue for 2012 was $203.5 million. Ingram Content Group has a variety of business activities, generally focused as a service provider for publishers. The company also directly supports libraries, especially through services related to materials acquisitions, such as OASIS (Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System), MyiLibrary content hosting platform, and ipage. Under Prichard's leadership beginning in 2007, Ingram saw the integration of a number of business units into a unified company under the name Ingram Content Group. Prichard left the Ingram about a year ago, in June 2012. John R. Ingram, who also serves as its Chairman, stepped into the CEO role following Prichard's exit.

Prichard was CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning from October 2005 until April 2007, exiting following a transition period after the company's acquisition by Cambridge Information Group in December 2006. Beginning in April 2003 Prichard served as Senior Vice President, Global Sales, ProQuest Information and Learning. Prior to his tenure at ProQuest, Prichard was a Vice President for LexisNexis.

Prichard's educational background includes a Juris Doctor in Law from the University of Baltimore School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Towson University. Each of the OCLC presidents has led the organization through different phases of growth and strategic direction. WorldCat, the organization's key asset, has seen phenomenal growth in recent years, having exceeded 300 million bibliographic records representing more than 2 billion individual library holdings. Prichard comes to the organization during a critical time, where a new generation of its products and services based on the new WorldShare Platform is poised for adoption, though it also faces formidable competition from commercial vendors. It will be interesting to see how OCLC shapes its strategies in its next phase under its new president with a strong background in the library vendor arena.

OCLC PresidentTerm
Frederick G. Kilgour1967–1980
Rowland C. W. Brown1980–1989
Dr. K. Wayne Smith1989–1998
Jay Jordan/td>1998–2013
Skip Prichard2013–

Axel Kaschte Joins OCLC

Axel Kaschte has joined OCLC as its Product Strategy Director for EMEA. From 2009 through May 2013 he served as the Strategy Director for Europe for Ex Libris Group. Beginning in 2003 Kaschte worked as a Technical Director for Dynix and continued with the company when it transitioned to SirsiDynix.

Innovative and Polaris continue Executive Musical Chairs

In January 2013 Polaris Library Systems hired Neil Block as Vice President of Strategic Growth following his exit from Innovative Interfaces the prior December. Returning the favor, Innovative Interfaces has hired Steve Nielsen as its new Vice President of Strategic Accounts. Nielsen served as VP of Product Management at Polaris beginning in September 2011. He served as director of the Bettendorf Public Library from 2008 to 2011 and was a VP for Product Management for Dynix. In other news at Innovative, Mary Chevreau, VP for North American Sales, departed the company in January 2013.

Brower Roberts (Brower Murphy) dies

Brower Roberts, one of the pioneers of the library automation industry, died on May 24, 2013 at the age of 74. Roberts, previously known as Brower Murphy, or “Murf,” was a co-founder of The Library Corporation with his then wife Annette Murphy in 1974. Brower Murphy departed the company in 1996 and since that time Annette Harwood Murphy has led the company as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

During his involvement in the library automation industry, Brower Murphy was known as an innovator, launching one of the earliest products based on CD-ROM technology, BiblioFile, in 1985. A decade later he led the development of NlightN, an early Web-based search product of diverse library-oriented resources, not entirely unlike the genre of index-based or Webscale discovery products available today. NlightN did not, however, see commercial success. Following his departure from TLC, Roberts pursued other interests outside of the library automation industry.

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Publication Year:2013
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 33 Number 07
Issue:July 2013
Page(s):6-7
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Company: OCLC
ISSN:1541-8820
Record Number:18281
Last Update:2014-06-05 14:14:36
Date Created:2013-08-22 10:38:59