Sopheon Taps Business Leader and Product Development Executive Gert Staal to Head European Operations

Appointment Underpins Company’s Strategies for Aggressive Expansion within EMEA Region

MINNEAPOLIS & LONDON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 24, 2011 — Sopheon, the international product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services company, announced today that it has appointed Gert Staal, a former senior product and marketing executive for Reed Elsevier, to manage its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Mr. Staal is assuming the role of vice president for the EMEA region. His responsibilities will focus on guiding and supporting the continued growth of Sopheon’s customer base throughout EMEA.

Mr. Staal was previously the vice president of pricing and director of sales and market development for Reed Elsevier’s $1.9B Science and Technology Division. Earlier experience included general management of a premier Dutch Internet company, general management roles with Wolters Kluwer, and senior business development responsibilities within SilverPlatter Information, Inc. In his new role, Mr. Staal will oversee Sopheon sales, services and partner development activities in the EMEA region.

Customers located in EMEA currently account for more than one-third of Sopheon’s annual revenues. Sopheon has established bases in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as well as a reseller presence in other major European markets. One of its strategic priorities is to build on this infrastructure so that it can take advantage of burgeoning business opportunity in other parts of West and Central Europe and the Middle East.

“Our business development efforts in EMEA are at a tipping point,” said Andy Michuda, chief executive officer of Sopheon. “The momentum of our business and the size and number of customer opportunities available to us are accelerating rapidly. Gert combines the best qualities of a highly successful business leader with the hands-on perspective of one who has directed innovation strategies and executed product innovation processes within major corporations. He knows our market and the challenges facing our customers from the inside out. He is also a change agent who has led transformation of both established and beginning enterprises, guiding them through the adoption of new business models and through the challenges of expanding scale. Gert has the competencies, experience and track record to take our EMEA business to the next level.”

Gert Staal’s credentials include extensive involvement in professional associations supporting the advancement of product-development best practices and education. He is currently a member of the board of directors for Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) International. He previously co-founded and served as the first chair of the Dutch affiliate of PDMA. He is a certified new product development professional and registered education provider for PDMA in Europe and Asia.

“I am delighted to be able to join Sopheon at this stage in its growth,” said Mr. Staal. “I have a passion for their mission of supporting product innovation. I have been aware for some time of the company’s great reputation for delivering value, and I have recently seen first-hand how Sopheon’s Accolade® solution is enabling end-users to achieve new levels of profitable innovation. When I view these capabilities through the lens of my experience in guiding product development strategy and innovation process execution, I couldn’t be more excited. I believe that Sopheon faces extraordinary opportunity in European, Middle Eastern and African markets, and I’m looking forward to helping the company achieve that potential.”

Accolade® is a registered trademark of Sopheon plc.

All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners.

About Sopheon

Sopheon (LSE: SPE) is an international provider of software and services that help organizations improve the business impact of product innovation. Sopheon’s Accolade software enables end-to-end governance of the innovation process, including strategic product planning, idea development, product portfolio management and process execution. Sopheon is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and on the Euronext in the Netherlands. For more information, please visit


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