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Rishi, who sold Blue Yonder to Panasonic, stepping down as CEO

Head of SaaS supply chain company joined Blue Yonder in 2017

Outgoing Blue Yonder CEO Girish Rishi Photos: Blue Yonder

Girish Rishi is stepping down as CEO of supply chain software-as-a-service company Blue Yonder, just a few months after it was sold to Panasonic.

Rishi will be replaced on an interim basis by Mark Morgan, currently Blue Yonder’s executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business.

In response to questions from FreightWaves, a spokeswoman for Blue Yonder said Rishi’s departure was not planned as part of the sale to Panasonic. 

After Rishi joined Blue Yonder as CEO in 2017, his time there “was driven by getting the company to respond to secular drivers from cloud to machine learning, from strategic partnerships to the edge, a cultural lift and a management system that scales on a strong financial footing,” the spokeswoman said. “He believes he has accomplished this.”

Blue Yonder recently announced its full-year earnings for what it said was a record-breaking 2021. Its annualized recurring revenue for the fourth quarter — an important metric for growing SaaS companies, though Blue Yonder had already found its suitor in Panasonic — was $475 million, up 39% from the corresponding quarter a year earlier. SaaS revenue in the fourth quarter was $108 million, up 44%. Subscription revenue was 69% of total revenue in the fourth quarter and for all of 2021.

In the earnings release, Blue Yonder said total annual revenue was more than $1.1 billion, and its SaaS backlog was in excess of $1 billion. 

When Panasonic acquired Blue Yonder, the price of the purchase was not revealed. But Panasonic’s acquisition at the time was for it to buy the 80% of the company it did not already own. When the acquisition of that stake was completed, Panasonic put the value of the company at $8.5 billion.

“Business has never been healthier for Blue Yonder,” Rishi said in the statement. “Supply chain optimization is at the forefront of everybody’s boardroom conversation around the world, and Blue Yonder plays a critical role as the leading end-to-end solution provider.”

He said the company has 5,500 associates.

Morgan has been with Blue Yonder for 23 years in what was described as “a variety of strategic leadership positions” in the U.S. and abroad.

“I have seen Blue Yonder enable companies to deliver the world’s essential goods such as food, water and medicine, more quickly and efficiently,” Morgan said in the statement.

Blue Yonder is part of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Co. The acquisition closed in September.

When the acquisition was closed, Panasonic said Blue Yonder’s capabilities could be “unified” with Panasonic’s sensing technologies and edge devices. Connected Solutions was established in 2017 and uses AI and Internet of Things solutions for a list of industries: avionics, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, logistics and public services.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.