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SeeByte Hires CEO to Drive Global Growth Strategy

30 June 2010

SeeByte, the Edinburgh-based developer of the world’s most advanced software for managing unmanned and remote assets, has appointed a new CEO.

Bob Black joins from Capgemini where he headed its Oil & Gas division in Aberdeen. Previously he had 15 years starting and growing international businesses for SAIC, the US engineering and technology corporation.

Black’s mission is to take SeeByte deeper into global Energy and Defence markets, where its customers already number 11 of the world’s leading Navies, several major oil companies and global offshore contractors. Revenues, currently at $5m, continue to grow and the 35 employees divide between its Edinburgh HQ and an office in the US. The company designs and builds software solutions that gather and analyse data so that remote or unmanned systems -predominately robotic mini-submarines - can be aware of their situation and can plan actions for safe and effective operation. Utilised predominantly in underwater and similar harsh environments, the applications range from pipeline surveying to mine clearance, condition monitoring and integrity management.

The appointment concludes a six-month search to strengthen the leadership of the company, founded and led by Professor David Lane from spin-out in 2001 to the successful commercial platform that exists today.

SeeByte Chairman, David Farquhar, explains:

“Having built a robust, profitable, debt-free international business from our world class technology platform and engineering skills, we were clear that our new CEO had to be capable of capitalising on the company’s early leadership in the global markets it serves. That is why we have taken our time to identify the person who has the right mix of skills, industry experience, success and energy to lead the team.

“What impressed the Board most about Bob was his track record of continued success in driving high-growth technology businesses across three continents. Although trained as a physicist at Glasgow University and holding a PhD from Edinburgh, his career has been strongly focused on commercial success: indeed he recently won a regional European award for business development at Capgemini. This unusual mix of top quality engineering and sales skills, combined with an open management style is exactly what we had been seeking. Bob’s track record in building strong, lasting customer and partner relationships will also be a crucial part of continuing to develop SeeByte’s international reputation for excellence.”

Black, who previously held vice-president positions at SAIC and subsidiaries before joining Capgemini in 2008, said:

“I'm delighted to be joining one of Scotland's fastest-growing technology companies at an important stage in their development. SeeByte delivers world class products and services to clients in the Defence and Security sector, and is now perfectly poised for deeper penetration of the Offshore Energy sector. Although based in Edinburgh, SeeByte is truly global in outlook, with world beating technology and a fantastic team of engineering expertise assembled from around the world.”

Professor Lane remains a key part of the business, identifying long term business development and partnering opportunities as well as continuing to strengthen and communicate the company’s core technology.

He commented: “I am delighted that we are putting in place the next building block in the development of the company. The SeeByte story has been one of sustained international growth at an average of 60% per annum. We have achieved this through our technological lead, excellence in customer service, a clear strategic approach and by successfully attracting world class talent to the company. We are seeing structural changes in our key markets that create highly attractive opportunities and, with Bob’s appointment, we have secured the experience and leadership skills that will enable us to accelerate our rate of growth and profitability. I look forward to supporting Bob going forward, so that we can realise our full potential.”