Having closed on $1.5 million in additional venture capital, LiveWire Logic’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Warner stepped down and today announced formation of a new consulting firm, Paladin and Associates.

“This is something I’ve quite literally though about doing for several years now,” said Warner, who joined LiveWire Logic as CEO in 2001. “I’ve got 33 years of experience, and since the late 1980s I have been a senior manager or a CEO. I was at the point in my life where I enjoy working with early stage companies, and I want to do so again.”

Paladin will provide interim executive officer services as well as executive coaching.

But Warner is not leaving LiveWire entirely.

“I continue to be an investor and cheerleader,” he explained, “and I remain an advisor to the board.”

Michael Lough, vice president of marketing at LiveWire, took over for Warner on Monday. He assumed his additional role with $1.5 million in the bank in a round led by existing investors Research Triangle Ventures and Gray Ventures out of Atlanta. The round was closed on Feb. 28.

“Obviously, there have been some changes here with Bill,” said Lough, who joined the firm six months ago, “but the management team is extremely focused on making our current customers successful and adding new customers.”

LiveWire also is looking for more money. Lough said the firm is looking to raise another $750,000 “if everybody who is interested puts in.”

LiveWire Logic, which was founded in 2000, provides automated customer relations management services, software and support. Its CRM attendant program, called RealDialog, is built around artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. The company has said that the AI can “learn” as it deals with more questions, more products, and more people. The company already has four paying customers, and Lough said more will be added in the near future.

“I fully expect to make announcements about new customers and to see more adoption in the marketplace,” Lough said. “In my discussion with industry analysts, there has been a lot of talk about corporations that are looking to self-service their customers, to enhance customer service while also cutting down on costs. They expect 2003 to be the year of focus and adoption of customer self-service, and we are seeing that.”

LiveWire: www.livewirelogic.com

Paladin and Associates: Send email to thepaladin@earthlink.net