CEO Scott Burns, the entrepreneur who started St. Paul-based GovDelivery in 2001 and sold it for $153 million last fall, has stepped down from the company and will serve in an advisory role.

Burns, 40, said it was time to leave the fast-growing provider of digital-communication services to local, state and national government agencies.

GovDelivery, which provides the technology platform and tools for nearly 2,000 government bodies to communicate digitally with taxpayers, was acquired for $153 million in cash last fall by Vista Equity Partners, the huge private equity firm that focuses on technology-enabled businesses.

Earlier last year, Vista also acquired Colorado-based Granicus, a smaller firm than GovDelivery, but in the same business. Vista merged the two firms into what is now Denver-based Granicus in late 2016.

GovDelivery, based in downtown St. Paul, employs 225 people and had revenue of about $40 million last year, up from $35 million in 2015.

GovDelivery's former owner Actua, which owns several software-as-a-service businesses, paid $20 million for 94 percent of GovDelivery's stock in 2009.

Granicus on Monday named Mark Hynes CEO of the merged company. He will be based in Denver.

Hynes is a high-profile executive who most recently worked for Altisource, which was named as one of Fortune's 25 fastest-growing global companies.

Jason Fletcher, the former CEO of Granicus, will move to chief operating officer of the combined firm.

Vista said Granicus is the largest provider of cloud-based solutions to government in North America and the United Kingdom, serving 300 agencies.

In an interview, Burns said he expects the St. Paul operation to continue to grow.

"It's good news for [downtown] St. Paul jobs and a good position for our leadership team to contribute and take this larger business forward," Burns said. "I take the new owner at his word to grow all offices."

Granicus employs about 375 workers in Denver, downtown St. Paul, Washington and the U.K.