Orchestream CEO resigns as losses soar

8 May 2002 The ongoing crisis at Orchestream, the once high-flying network management software vendor, has resulted in the resignation of CEO Ashley Ward following a series of disagreements with non-executive directors and chairman Alan Bates.

Ward will be replaced by chief financial officer Anthony Finbow.

In its first quarter to the end of March, Orchestream posted sales up 55% to £3.4 million (€5.5m) compared to the same period a year ago, but down by 27% compared to the previous quarter’s £4.7 million (€7.6m). Pre-tax losses also rose sharply, up by 117% to £4.8 million (€7.7m).

Orchestream specialises in software platforms for configuration and activation of next-generation services on broadband networks.

The company said that it has cash reserves of £14.7 million (€23.6m) and is owed £10.9 million (€17.5m) by customers. But in a bid to reduce its net losses, Orchestream has reduced its headcount from 234 to 150, which will cost it a £1.2 million (€1.9m) charge in the second quarter.

As a result of the headcount reduction and restructuring, Orchestream will cut its quarterly operating costs in the second quarter to £4.25 million (€6.8m), compared to £10.8 million (€17.4m) in the same period a year earlier.

Despite the poor results, Finbow remained upbeat. “We continue to believe that the long-term prospects for the business are encouraging,” he said.

In 2000, Orchestream was floated on the stock market for £214 million (€344m) and its value subsequently soared to £1 billion (€1.6bn). However, the company’s stock has since lost 99% of its value and Orchestream shares are currently worth just seven pence (€0.10). The company is listed on both Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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