CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SMART Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:SMT) (TSX:SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions, today announces the appointment of Neil Gaydon as SMART's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 24, 2012. Gaydon brings over 28 years of technology experience and leadership, most recently serving as CEO of Pace plc, the world's largest set top box producer, headquartered and publicly listed in the United Kingdom. Gaydon has significant experience in leading and growing companies in highly competitive global markets. Through a clear strategy and focus on execution, he turned Pace around in less than five years and delivered a ten-fold increase in revenues to $2.3 billion for the year ended December 2011 to become the global market leader. Prior to becoming the CEO of Pace, Gaydon served in numerous executive and senior positions there, including President Pace Americas, which he established and led for five years. Before joining Pace, Gaydon worked with a number of companies in a variety of key roles. "SMART has built an enviable position in the global education market, with leading products and a highly recognized and trusted brand," says Gaydon. "I am excited to join the many great people at SMART to build on this heritage, and to exploit the opportunity the company has in the emerging business market for collaborative solutions." "We are very pleased to have Neil join SMART as President and CEO," says David Martin, co-founder and Chair, SMART Technologies Inc. "Neil's strategic ability and his results-oriented approach are going to be critical to our future success." Gaydon will be based in Calgary. Tom Hodson, who has served as interim President and CEO of SMART since April 30, 2012, will continue with the Company as its COO, a role that he has held for the past five years.