Appen (ASX:APX) share price slides following board renewal

The company is reshuffling its board.

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The Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price is sliding this Thursday morning. This comes after the artificial intelligence data services company announced an update to its board.

At the time of writing, the Appen share price is trading for $12.10, down 1.87%.

Appen updates it board

The Appen share price could be on the move today as investors will be digesting the latest update from the company.

According to the release, Appen advised that Richard Freudenstein assumes the role of independent non-executive director effective today. In addition, Mr Freudenstein will succeed Chris Vonwiller’s position as chair on 28 October.

Mr Vonwiller held the title of chair for a period of 12 years and notably was CEO for the company from 1999 to 2010.

Mr Freudenstein brings a wealth of experience to the Appen board. Currently, he is a director for Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)REA Group Limited (ASX: REA), and Cricket Australia.

Previously, Mr Freudenstein served as chair for REA Group, as well as director of Ten Network, Foxtel, and Astro Malaysia. He has held the roles of CEO at Foxtel, News Digital Media and The Australian, and was chief operating officer (COO) at British Sky Broadcasting.

Appen outgoing chair, Mr Vonwiller touched on the succession, saying:

Richard is an experienced director and Chairman of large public companies and brings extensive governance expertise to the Board. His experience as a CEO and COO in the fast-evolving media industry also mean he is ideally placed to provide leadership for the next phase of Appen’s development.

We are now working closely to ensure an orderly transition and I am confident that Richard will help to drive the company’s future growth.

Mr Freudenstein went on to add:

Artificial intelligence is transforming the products and services we use every day and Appen plays a unique role in ensuring that AI works for all users in the real world.

Chris has been instrumental in Appen’s success since it was founded 25 years ago by him and his wife, Dr Julie Vonwiller. Under his stewardship, Appen has delivered extraordinary growth and has transformed from an Australia-based language data services provider to a global product led provider of AI data and solutions.

Lastly, William Pulver will retire from the board as non-executive director on 25 August, after being in the role for 11 years. His position will be succeeded as chair of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee by the independent non-executive director, Steve Hasker.

Appen share price summary

It’s been a tough 12 months for Appen shareholders, with the company’s share price falling 65%, and down 50% year-to-date. Appen has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 30.77, and a trailing dividend yield of 0.80%.

Appen commands a market capitalisation of around $1.5 billion, with approximately 123 million shares on its books.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras owns shares of Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Appen Ltd and COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended REA Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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