Nuance CEO Paul Ricci to retire in March

The voice recognition software giant also reported preliminary earnings results for the fiscal first quarter.

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Nuance Communications confirmed on Monday that CEO Paul Ricci will retire by March 31.

Nuance said it will name a new chief executive on or before that date and has nixed plans to nominate Ricci for director of its board at its upcoming shareholders meeting.

Ricci joined Nuance as the company's CEO in September 2000 and has served as board chairman since 1999. He first announced plans to retire in November 2016, creating a more than one-year succession window that has rattled some investors.

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The voice recognition software giant also reported preliminary earnings results for the fiscal first quarter. Nuance expects Q1 non-GAAP earnings of 26 cents to 27 cents per share, with revenue in the range of $500 million to $503 million. Previously, the company said it expects non-GAAP EPS of from 19 cents to 22 cents a share.

Wall Street is looking for earnings of 22 cents a share on revenue of $492 million.

Nuance shares were up nearly 7 percent in early trading.

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