Kainos chairman John Lillywhite stepping down as boss of tech firm
One of the longest serving figures in Northern Ireland's tech industry is to retire.
John Lillywhite will step down as chairman of Belfast-based IT plc Kainos after the group's AGM on September 26. He has been involved in the tech industry for over 50 years,
It comes just weeks after the company became the first homegrown Northern Ireland business to be listed on the FTSE 250.
Mr Lillywhite stepped down as group finance director of ICL (now Fujitsu) in 1997 after a career that took him across Europe, North America and Asia.
He has been involved with Kainos since it was set up in 1986 as a joint venture between Fujitsu and Queen's University Belfast.
Appointed chairman in 1998, he continued to lead the company when it went public in July 2015.
Speaking after confirming his decision to step down, Mr Lillywhite said: "It has been a great pleasure for me to be involved with Kainos since the very start, when it was just an idea, and to see it grow into the significant business that it is today.
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"Throughout that period of time the company has been successful by delivering on our commitments - to our people, to our customers and to our shareholders. I continue to be excited by the future prospects for Kainos and I look forward to seeing the company achieve that potential in the years ahead."
Paying tribute to the outgoing chairman, Kainos chief executive Brendan Mooney said: "Having worked closely with John over the past 20 years, I have seen first-hand the skills and experience that John has brought to his role as chairman - both as a private company, and over the last four years as a public company.
"That skill is reflected in the growth of Kainos and the strong performance across the financial and people-based metrics of our business. As a company we are incredibly grateful for the leadership that he has demonstrated and the support that he has provided to Kainos and to the people that have worked closely with him."
The board of Kainos confirmed it has already launched the search for its next chair.