Qlik hires CEO amid 'significant' layoffs

Qlik, the Radnor-based business analytics firm bought for $3 billion by Chicago investment firm Thoma Bravo in mid-2016, has named ex-Medidata Solutions chief and ADP executive Mike Capone as its new CEO. The hire ends a four-month search launched after longtime Qlik boss Lars Björk stepped down.

Separately, the company confirmed reports from industry sources that Qlik has laid off workers in a number of locations. “A couple of dozen” people at the Radnor headquarters lost their jobs, said spokeswoman Maria Scurry. “Very significant global cuts to the Qlik sales and marketing workforce” were reported by Donald Farmer, head of TreeView, a vendor software consultant. The company employed around 2,500 at the end of 2016.

Qlik and rivals including Seattle-based Tableau Software grew rapidly in the early 2010s, offering easy-to-use company data dashboards far cheaper than system extensions offered by Oracle, SAP, and other mainstream business-software giants. But more recently, Google Analytics and other free or cut-rate services have targeted the field, and the companies have been under pressure to show results or cut costs.

“The smart use of data and analytics can have transformative effects on an industry, and I am excited to join a company that enables customers in every industry to rethink what’s possible,” Capone said in a statement. From 2014 to 2017, Capone headed Medidata Solutions, a New York-based medical-data firm with an office in Conshohocken. Before that he spent 15 years at ADP, rising to head of product development and chief technology officer at the payroll giant. A 1988 computer science graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., he holds an M.B.A. degree from Pace University.

David Murphy, a Thoma Bravo partner who stepped in as interim CEO, remains a Qlik director.

Björk ran Qlik (formerly QlikTech) for 17 years, through its 2010 initial public stock offering and the ensuing struggle with activist investors led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. which resulted in the Thoma Bravo deal.

Qlik’s corporate, sales, and financial functions have been based on the Main Line, but its technology and R&D office have been in Björk’s native Sweden.