Entrepreneur Jud Bowman is in effect a free agent now that the acquisition of the company he founded and led, Durham apps purveyor Appia, has been completed.
Digital Turbine, a publicly traded Los Angeles company that recently changed its name from Mandalay Digital Group, completed its previously announced acquisition of Appia this week. Bowman, who was Appia’s CEO, has been appointed to Digital Turbine’s eight-person board of directors but isn’t staying on as an executive of the combined business.
Bowman, who is now one of Digital Turbine’s largest individual shareholders, said in an interview that he was offered the choice of remaining an executive or joining the board and decided the latter “gave me the best chance to be helpful and continue to grow this company.”
Appia’s executive chairman, Craig Forman, also is joining Digial Turbine’s board.
Bowman said he still has an entrepreneurial mindset.
“I hope at some point down the road I’m lucky enough to start another (company),” he said.
Shareholders of privately held Appia received 19 million shares of Digital Turbine stock, giving them about a 33 percent ownership stake in the business. The deal was valued at about $100 million when it was announced, including the assumption of $10 million in debt plus Appia’s transaction fees and expenses.
Appia boasted 65 employees and had revenues of $30 million for the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30. It was one of the Triangle’s fastest-growing startups.
Two other Appia executives – Tim Oakley, chief financial officer, and Ken Hayes, chief revenue officer – also will be leaving the company after a transition period.
“That was just a case where Digital Turbine already had executives in those positions,” Bowman said.
Beyond the departure of those top executives, Bowman said, no job cuts are anticipated. “I just want to emphasize we are hiring,” he said. “The Appia office alone has eight open positions.”
Appia’s Durham headquarters is now Digital Turbine’s largest U.S. office. Digital Turbine, which had 125 workers when the Appia deal was announced, generated $18 million in revenue for the nine months that ended in December.
Digital Turbine shares closed Friday at $3.77, down 8 cents. Its shares have risen 13 percent since the beginning of the year.