OpenEye's Croy returns to 'tidy up' ahead of sale

His staff was left wondering because he couldn't share confidential information about the sale with them, says Croy

Gareth Croy, the chief executive of OpenEye Displays, who returned to New Zealand last week, says he is selling his company.

Computerworld reported last week that Croy had seemingly disappeared, leaving company staff not knowing where their CEO was, and wondering about their futures.

Croy, however, says he did not leave the company. He says he has been “head down” getting through the sales process.

The reason his staff was left wondering, he says, was because he couldn’t share confidential information about the sale with them, “hence they were pretty unclear as to what was going on”, he says.

Croy is reluctant to say who he has sold OpenEye to, because the contract is not yet finalised. However, he says the purchaser is also in the digital display technology market.

It will be down to the new owner if it will take on OpenEye staff — and down to the employees if they are happy to continue working for the new owner, he says.

“It’s a matter between them,” he says.

Staff numbers have shrunk from 11 in March to three today, according to a staff member. Croy says the decrease is due to to a “drive on profitability”.

“As a start-up you need to gear up your resources in order to actually deliver,” he says. Now, the requirement is not there for the same size of team, he says.

Andrew Hamilton, chief executive of the Icehouse incubator, where OpenEye was based until earlier this year, told Computerworld last week that many companies run into trouble and are unable to meet their payroll, but in this particular case the “speed wobbles” were possibly a bit bigger than usual. He also said that the Icehouse was trying to assist the struggling company.

“We certainly had some challenging times, and that is the nature of a start-up,” says Croy.

Croy was reluctant to say if he was staying in New Zealand or going back overseas.

He says he is in the country at the moment to “tidy up” and make sure his clients are happy.

According to a source, Croy is now living in London and is only here for a short time.

Croy, who won the start-up entrepreneur award category of the Gen-i New Zealand Incubator Awards in March this year, has got a few other things in the pipeline, he says.

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