David Lumsden, the chief executive of the Tikit Group issued this statement to staff earlier this week:
“Liam Flanagan, the Innovations Director of Tikit Limited, will be leaving the group at the end of March. Liam, one of the founding directors at Tikit, has decided to leave to pursue new ventures and opportunities where he can use his exceptional entrepreneurial skills to best advantage.
“Since its inception in 1994, Tikit has grown to be a public listed company with over 200 employees. Liam was involved in all aspects of the company’s growth from start-up, through public listing to international expansion and his contribution to the group’s expansion has been of inestimable value. He remains a shareholder and we very much look forward to working with him on new projects in the future.
“On a personal note, it’s been a great pleasure working with Liam over the years. He has been of great help to me personally and I will miss his good humour. All of us at Tikit wish Liam the very best of luck and every success in all his new ventures.”
Flanagan added in his own note to staff “I hope to keep in contact with those who know me and wish you all every success and happiness in your continued work and time at Tikit. I would love to work very closely with Tikit in the coming years with my new ventures (wish me luck) and hopefully have lots of fun with you whilst enjoying our shared successes with a tinge of sadness to end this wonderful journey.”
COMMENT: An end of an era in one way but probably the start of a new era in another. Founder entrepreneurs almost inevitably move on once their companies grow beyond a certain stage (think Paul Allen at Microsoft and Steve Wozniak at Apple) because they want to tackle fresh challenges rather than be trapped behind a desk in a suit doing corporate ‘stuff’. In this instance, there does also seem to be a genuine desire by both sides to continue with some form of business relationship – we’ll be talking to Liam just after Easter to learn more about his new ventures. In the meantime the company he helped build up from nothing in the mid 1990s, has gone from having a market capitalisation of £13 million in 2001 to now being worth nearly £50 million.