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SMART appoints Gaydon as President and CEO

Six months after Nancy Knowlton stepped down, SMART have appointed the ex-Pace CEO to lead the company.

SMART Technologies has appointed Neil Gaydon as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 24, 2012. Gaydon brings over 28 years of technology experience and leadership, most recently serving as CEO of UK set top box manufacturer Pace.

In April this year, the two individuals most associated with SMART – Nancy Knowlton, co-founder, President and CEO, and David Martin, co-founder and Executive Chairman – stepped down from their executive management roles, remaining with the company as Vice Chair and Chairman respectively. Tom Hodson, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, was named Interim President and CEO effective the same date.

With Gaydon’s appointment, Hodson reverts to his former role.

According to SMART, Gaydon has significant experience in leading and growing companies in highly competitive global markets: through a clear strategy and focus on execution, he is said to have turned Pace around in less than five years and delivered a ten-fold increase in revenues to $2.3 billion for the year ended December 2011 to become the global market leader.

Prior to becoming the CEO of Pace, Gaydon served in numerous executive and senior positions there, including President Pace Americas, which he established and led for five years. Before joining Pace, Gaydon worked with a number of companies in a variety of key roles.

“SMART has built an enviable position in the global education market, with leading products and a highly recognized and trusted brand,” said Gaydon (pictured). “I am excited to join the many great people at SMART to build on this heritage, and to exploit the opportunity the company has in the emerging business market for collaborative solutions.”

“We are very pleased to have Neil join SMART as President and CEO,” said David Martin, co-founder and Chair, SMART Technologies. “Neil’s strategic ability and his results-oriented approach are going to be critical to our future success.”

Gaydon will be based in Calgary.