SPARC chief to leave for startup Marc Murphy to lead local Atlatl Software


The chief executive who navigated the sale of Charleston tech firm SPARC last year is leaving the company after three years to head up a local startup focused on the manufacturing sector.

Marc Murphy is leaving SPARC this week after nearly two years running the software development group, first as its CEO and later as a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, the government contracting giant that bought its core business last fall.

Murphy will be succeeded by Elizabeth Buske, who has been the division’s second-in-command and was among SPARC’s earliest employees. Gary Labovich, Booz Allen Hamilton’s executive vice president for systems delivery, said Buske’s experience and familiarity with the company’s culture made her a natural fit.

“She’s got the full support of the team, she’s hands-on in the business and the transition has been absolutely seamless,” Labovich said. “We’re not going to miss a beat on anything.”

Buske will be tasked with continuing to grow the business as it takes on contracts with Booz Allen and moves into a new office this fall, said Labovich, who anticipates “a large increase” in its staffing here.

Meantime, Murphy said he will become chief executive of Atlatl Software next month, taking the helm of the four-year-old startup at what he calls an “inflection point” for its business of selling software that helps manufacturers sell their products.

The company’s software lets salespeople create 3D renderings that show clients how the products they’re selling work and look — and then generate a quote.

“It’s a huge space, and I think it’s a space that largely has not been overly saturated with what I would call high-powered software tools,” Murphy said. “We have a big domain in front of us.”

The company, which is owned by the Andrews-based manufacturing conglomerate SixAxis, has about 50 employees in downtown Charleston, Murphy said. Atlatl and SixAxis couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Murphy, who starts Aug. 15, says he plans to initially work on developing Atlatl’s sales strategy and making sure it has “the right engineering rigor” for the company to grow. In the long term, he said he plans to focus on shaping Atlatl’s culture as it grows from its roots as a small startup.

“This is a real inflection point for the company,” Murphy said. “Being able to build a company culture, build a disciplined sales team and a disciplined engineering team and really grow this company to the potential I think it has in Charleston, in the community that I live in and am fortunate enough now to stay in, just is a perfect scenario for me.”

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.