PSI AG - Berlin, Germany
Cairns and Cook were both leaders of a team parachuted into a German company that was struggling to realize value from an ERP solution that they had developed. After a review of the business, a proposal was made to establish a new subsidiary and build this new business with Cairns taking an Acting CEO position and joining the Vorstand (management board) and Cook an Acting VP Sales position, as well as bringing in other executives to key roles to kick start the activity. The success of this project allowed the parent company to go public on the Frankfurt exchange.
After achieving multiple million DM license contracts, Cook took on the position of full time CEO, and moved to Berlin. In the next year he led the growth of PSIPenta from 30 million DM to 58 million DM while significantly improving margins. Months prior to the IPO on the Frankfurt Exchange, DMG Investment bankers valued the ERP software company that Cairns and Cook had rebuilt at 260-280 million DM, more than PSI, the services parent organization at 230-250 million DM. Within a year PSI AG had achieved a market capitalization in excess of a billion USD.
The following is a quote from the Marketing manager (an existing employee): "I truly experienced the meaning of leadership when working at PSI AG….. Our company at that time had ambitions of international expansion, but lacked the experience and self confidence. We were lucky to be discovered by David Cairns, who brought a solid background in managing software companies, helping them expand by raising capital and going public. David was assigned the role of CEO. After analysing the organization and getting to know each employee, he rebuilt the management team, energized us, gave us vision and set our direction. He had the ability to communicate clearly and convince us of the rewards for working harder, making sacrifice, having the courage to change, take risk and become winners.