Stephen Maysonave, who has flourished over the past 35 years in a variety of roles in the rough and tumble worlds of software and financing, is the new chief executive officer of Relativity Software.

Maysonave, 56, replaces Relativity’s colorful founder, Vivek Wadhwa, who will remain with the company he founded as its chairman. Wadhwa will remain involved in the company and will keep an office at its Cary’s headquarters.

“To use an analogy, it’s like moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat,” Wadhawa said.

Maysonave and Wadhwa talked on and off for three months before he decided to take the job.

“I had several other offers to become a CEO, but I had not really considered anything until this one came along,” Maysonave said. Wadhwa recruited Maysonave to take over after the two met in the midst of negotiating a deal with a Japanese firm that Maysonave was retained by in order to conduct due diligence on Relativity.

“My motivation – I will be making less money than I have in years past from the standpoint of base salary — is my belief in the company as a long-term investment.”

The changes took place this week as Relativity also closed on $2 million in additional financing from its long-time investors, Wakefield Group and Noro-Moseley Partners and Intel. Maysonave spent seven years with Intel earlier in his career. He said he talked in depth with the Intel executive who had worked most closely with Relativity and also was a close personal friend as part of his own due diligence about Relativity.

Maysonave confirmed he made an investment in Relativity as well.

“This gives us more flexibility,” he told Local Tech Wire. Among his first priorities is to hire a new head of marketing.

Wadhwa, who suffered a nearly fatal heart attack last year, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and also continue to help mentor executives involved in other startups. He has been a leading force in the TiE (The Indus Entreprneuers) Group in the Carolinas.

Maysonave, who currently lives in Austin, TX, has spent the past eight years running his own consulting and investment firm, Maysonave & Associates. He met Wadhwa and became aware of Relativity when retained by a Japanese client, Nichimen Corp, a company with $25 billion in annual sales, which wanted to license and launch a version of Relativity’s “Rescureware” software in Japan.

“This last version of the software has matured so much,” Maysonave said, referring to Rescueware. “With the Japanese version being released and several new customers and partnerships that we have signed but can’t announce yet plus my background in having built worldwide sales organizations before successfully, I and the investors have a huge amount of confidence that we can take this company to a whole new level.”