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Precise Biometrics names its latest CEO as firm tries to find its footing

Precise Biometrics names its latest CEO as firm tries to find its footing
 

Patrick Höijer is out as CEO of software-and-sensor maker Precise Biometrics. Höijer reportedly quit on amicable terms just more than a year after taking the chair.

The company has suffered several years of faltering business fundamentals, including net losses. Its board has been unsatisfied with growth at least since 2013, when it parted ways with CEO Thomas Marschall over the issue.

Torgny Hellström, board chairman, praised Höijer’s contributions in dual positions as CEO and chief commercial officer for digital identity for the past 15 months. Still, the company tried to rustle some capital through a share sale that fell far short of management’s and the board’s expectations and, probably, needs.

Höijer, who reportedly was paid SEK 3.59 million (US$330,000 — just over half in salary), will receive no severance and will act as a consultant to the company for six months. His predecessor, Stefan K. Persson was somewhat similarly ushered to the door in February 2022.

Replacing Höijer as of today is Joakim Nydemark, who, until now, was executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Precise’s biometric algorithm unit.

The Sweden-based company focuses on fingerprint and facial recognition, including its Tactivo scanners embedded in biometric payment and identity cards. Among Precise’s core products are fingerprint-matching algorithms used in third-party devices such as mobile phones, and its YOUNiQ platform for physical access control with face biometrics.

Nydemark worked for Crunchfish, Anoto, TAT and Teleca/Obigo before joining Precise Biometrics, according to the company. He was CEO of Crunchfish and Obigo and remains a board member of Crunchfish.

Nydemark earned a master of science degree in electrical engineering at Lund University.

He shares the same operational view faced by a number of his predecessors – good products cannot easily beat a downbeat sector.

In the third quarter of 2022, as Höijer ascended, revenue grew modestly to SEK 18.8 million, up from SEK 16.9 million for same period a year ago. The third-quarter 2021 operating loss was SEK 2.97 million more than doubled to SEK 7.3 million a year later.

At that moment, Precise, Fingerprint Cards and other competitors were being dragged along by a world phone market that was saturated, a condition still afflicting them.

Earlier this month, before Nydemark was named the Höijer’s replacement, Precise announced yet another disappointing period. He inherits a company that is still strapped to slow demand for phones and is facing challenges building new markets.

The second quarter of 2023 (which cannot accurately be compared to a past third quarter) registered a loss of SEK 7 million (US$650,000) on revenue of SEK 18 million ($1.7 million), compared to a quarterly loss of SEK 4 million ($370,000) on revenue of SEK 24.6 million ($2.3 million) a year ago.

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