Intuit says CEO Harris has resigned

Intuit Inc., the world's largest maker of personal finance software, said Thursday that CEO Bill Harris resigned after he and the board decided a more seasoned manager was needed to lead the company as revenues near $1 billion.

Intuit Inc., the world's largest maker of personal finance software, said Thursday that CEO Bill Harris resigned after he and the board decided a more seasoned manager was needed to lead the company as revenues near $1 billion.

Chairman Bill Campbell, 58, will assume day-to-day operations of the company until a successor is found from outside the company. Harris, 43, will remain on the board and aid in the transition, the company said.

Twenty percent of Intuit's revenues during the past six months came from the Internet, where Intuit is seeking to become a one-stop shopping source for online financial services. Buoyed by strong sales of its Quicken, TurboTax and other software, Intuit's sales surged 43 percent and profits doubled in its most recent fiscal year.

"This is a good time for the company to search for someone who has deep experience running large companies,'' Harris said in an interview, adding that the move was his idea. "All of us have agreed this is the right thing for me and the right thing for the company.''

Intuit stock has surged from a 52-week low of $34.50 to close at $100.56 Thursday on Nasdaq. In after-hours trading, traders said the stock slumped $4.06 to $96.50.

Campbell was unavailable to comment.

Harris said he planned to spend more time with his family before plunging back into the role of entrepreneur. He already has some ideas, he added, but declined to comment on them.

He joined Intuit in 1993 as executive vice president for the company's tax business when it acquired ChipSoft Inc., then a large maker of tax preparation software. In 1996, he was put in charge of the firm's Internet strategy and business development. A year later, he also headed up Intuit's consumer business.

Since he became chief executive in 1998, Intuit shares have doubled.

"My role now is much more divorced from the day-to-day happenings and I'd like to be much more hands-on,'' Harris said.

Spokeswoman Holly Anderson said that Intuit, of Mountain View, Calif., has not yet retained an executive search firm.

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