PLANO, Tex. - The digital certificate provider Entrust Technologies Inc. said Monday that president and chief executive officer John Ryan had resigned, effective immediately.

Mr. Ryan, who had been president and CEO since Entrust's founding in 1996, said in a press release: "Building Entrust has been an outstanding opportunity and a great experience. I'm ready for a new challenge."

Alberto Yepez, president of Entrust New Ventures, and David Thompson, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Entrust Technologies, will be interim co-CEOs while the company searches for a successor to Mr. Ryan.

Entrust has stumbled in recent months. Its stock fell by more than half in July when the company announced it would miss its earnings targets by several cents a share, and it has failed to recover.

James A. Thomson, Entrust chairman, said in the release: "The board and John agreed that this was an opportune time for the company to seek new leadership with the specific skills needed to take Entrust to the next level. He added that Mr. Ryan "has been central to the company's growth and development."

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