CEO Reidy Assumes Command of TIS U.S. Operations

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Former ReadSoft U.S. President Bob Fresneda departs TIS

Over the past three years, Top Image Systems [TIS] has gone through quite a bit of restructuring. It started in 2014 with the acquisition of U.S. based eGistics, a hosted software provider with a focus on the remittance processing market [see DIR 7/18/14]. In 2015, TIS followed up by hiring several former ReadSoft executives, including Bob Fresneda, as its president of TIS Americas [see DIR 6/12/15]. Last year, the company, which has its global headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, for the first time named a U.S.-based CEO—Brendan Reidy [see DIR 9/23/16]. Finally, at the beginning of this year, TIS announced a new chairman and an influx of capital [see DIR 1/20/17].

All the while TIS has been struggling to generate significant growth and produce profits. Earlier this month, it was announced that Fresneda was leaving and that TIS’ New Orleans offices, where Fresneda was based, will be closing. The explanation has to do with a desire to consolidate U.S. operations under Reidy and to invest in more salespeople.

“One of the questions that came up was, ‘do we really need two high-powered executives based in the U.S.?’” said Andrew Pery, TIS’ CMO, who had formerly worked with Fresneda at ReadSoft. “Having Brendan take over direct management of the U.S. business frees up resources to hire more feet on the street. In addition [through the eGistics acquisition], we had our core private cloud infrastructure and technical support resources located in Plano, TX. To better leverage our capacity and improve our execution, it made sense to co-locate our sales and marketing team there as well.”

Pery stressed that Fresneda’s departure was not performance related. “I have tremendous respect for Bob as a person and as a professional,” said Pery. “While at ReadSoft, he demonstrated the ability to build a beachhead in the software market and grow from there. He was put in a position to do the same thing at TIS, but the dynamics were different.”

After hiring Fresneda and CTO Carsten Nelk, TIS announced a couple of major initiatives in the accounts payable market—a space where the executives had enjoyed much success while at ReadSoft. Last year, TIS released a revamped SAP integration, and this year plans to spin up a cloud-based invoice processing service aimed at the mid-market. While those initiatives remain very much in place, when we spoke with Pery and CFO Yossi Dagan in the wake of the announcement of a $5 million equity investment by Hale Capital Partners, there was a clear message that TIS was going to increase its focus in the banking market—where Reidy’s primary experience lies.

“While we continue to scale our A/P business in the U.S., we are confident that we have opportunities to further strengthen our footprint in the banking sector, better capitalize on our remittance business, and potentially cross sell our A/P solution to our banking customers,” said Pery. “Given Brendan’s extensive experience in the banking sector and proven track record of creating shareholder value, he is now assuming direct management of our U.S. operations. The decision was not motivated by lack of performance but by business considerations, so that we can accelerate the addition of resource capacity. Bob’s departure is about taking one step back so that we can take two forward.”

Fresneda did not seem bitter over his departure, but wishes he would have had more resources to complete what he was hired to do. “I met some really great people at TIS and the team in Plano was a pleasure to work with,” he said. “I came in with a lot of confidence based on the success of ReadSoft. I leave with my head high knowing I will work hard in the future to create fun, hard-charging cultures inside the companies I work for.”

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