SMS' NSW director follows staff out

The managing director for SMS Management and Techhnology has lost its NSW managing director Linda Chapman for health reasons.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Australian IT services outfit SMS Management and Technology has lost its NSW managing director Lynda Chapman, who cited poor health as the reason behind her departure in an email to staff.

Some great prospects we are working hard at winning including Police, ASCIC [sic], Westpac, IAG and Defence

SMS' Lynda Chapman

Chapman had joined SMS M&T from Avoga, which SMS had bought for $5 million in 2007. She told colleagues via an email seen by ZDNet.com.au today that she would depart by Friday this week. "As you probably are aware, I have not been well lately and unfortunately I have had to make some decisions in my life in order to protect my health," she wrote.

The NSW team was understood to have faced some difficulty in recent months, with multiple sources within the company reporting that Chapman was behind a hiring spree last year, which had resulted in an overloaded headcount.

Days after SMS reported to the Australian Stock Exchange that it had cut 50 permanent staff and 117 contractors over the half year reporting period, offset by news it had cash balances of $20 million, while revenues grew $8 million to $120 million for the half year to December 2008, the NSW division had made another round of cuts affecting at least 11 staff.

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the alleged cuts. "All I would say is that the Queensland region is performing well, to the point where we're expanding and we continue to hire to meet demand there," he said.

"The business continues to grow. We're performing well in a tough market. We've got zero debt, good industry spread, a strong management team and we're winning large projects over multinational providers, such as the Indian outsourcers. So, for us, we are continuing to execute on our new five-year strategy in what everyone agrees is a challenging environment," he added.

SMS is one of a handful of Australian firms such as Oakton, CSG, DWS, UXC and ASG that are challenging multinational giants like IBM, HP/EDS, CSC and Fujitsu for big local contracts.

Outgoing NSW director Chapman today reminded staff of the highlights of her tenure, which included wins with the NSW Government such as the integration and support contract with the NSW Department of Education and Training for its Gmail service for around 1.3 million school and TAFE students, as well as current prospects, such as Westpac and Defence.

"We have also had some other great wins such as panel contract for NSW government, Apra, Health, RTA and of course some great prospects we are working hard at winning including Police, ASCIC [sic], Westpac, IAG and Defence," wrote Chapman.

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