Mark Bouris has announced he will resign as chairman of smart device seller TZ Limited.

Mr Bouris, who retired as executive chair in September, but remained in the non-executive chairman role, will leave after the 2018 AGM in a year’s time.

His exit is part of a board renewal process. TZ (ASX:TZL) says it wants to fill the role in the next two months.

New managing director John Wilson said Mr Bouris had been “instrumental in rebuilding TZ from its perilous position some eight years ago”.

Mr Bouris said in a statement: “I have had a tremendous experience working with the TZ team in bringing an idea in a start-up to a highly regarded technology used by many global tech titans and logistics companies and governments in logistics and security around the world.

“It hasn’t been without its challenges but the collaborative solutions to those challenges has been most satisfying. To see the team now led by John Wilson grow as they have is definitely the highlight.

“I will work as a non-executive over the next twelve months to bolster the Board with new board members and transition the new team in.”

The chairman of Yellow Brick Road and former host of TV’s The Apprentice also confirmed yesterday he would head up the federal government’s new Small Business Digital Taskforce.

The taskforce will talk to small business owners about the benefits of adopting digital technologies to operate more efficiently.

TZ shares over the past ten years. Source
TZ shares over the past ten years. Source

Before Mr Bouris joined TZ, two former directors allegedly defrauded the business out of $6.25 million.

In September, TZ, former chief executive John Falconer was extradited from Thailand and charged with dishonest conduct.

The corporate watchdog alleged that from 2006 to 2008 Mr Falconer, 68, used his position dishonestly on 16 occasions to funnel money into entities associated with himself and Andrew Sigalla, another former director of TZ Limited.

Mr Sigalla was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year for 24 counts of dishonest conduct.

There is no suggestion Mr Bouris had any involvement with the alleged activities.

Sales down compared to forecasts

TZ had a reasonable third quarter, taking $6 million in receipts and locking in $736,000 in cash.

Gross margins grew to 60 per cent compared to 40 per cent last year.

But the company said revenues were almost half of what they were in the same period the year before on “the lack of postal and logistics sales which boosted revenues last year”.

Quarterly sales were down 20 per cent compared to forecasts as the dates for several smart locker projects slipped in the US and Australia.

“Despite the positive cash result for the quarter, given the unpredictability of project timings and the challenges in accurately forecasting timing of large cash receipts, the company has launched a fully underwritten pro rata 2 for 5 non-renounceable rights issue on 6 October 2017 to raise approximately $5.5 million,” TZ said in October.

Only 35 per cent of that was taken up, leaving $3.58 million shares to be allocated to the underwriter First Samuel last week.

TZ’s shares were up almost 8 per cent on Monday to 2.8c, valuing the business at just over $18 million.