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Inprise Hires Interim Chief; Expects Low Earnings

Just two weeks ago, Inprise Corp. (www.inprise.com) laid out one of the biggest April Fools events this industry has ever seen by announcing the resignations of its CEO and board chairman Delbert Yocam and chief financial officer Kathleen Fisher. To follow up that news, the company, formerly named Borland, late yesterday announced the appointment of Dale Fuller to interim president and CEO of the company, followed by expectations of low earnings for the first quarter 1999.

Fuller, 40, also served as president and CEO of WhoWhere Inc. (www.whowhere.lycos.com) before it was acquired by Lycos Inc. (www.lycos.com).

The Inprise board of directors have stated that it had requested Yocam's resignation because of "philosophical differences" regarding the company's growth strategy. One area the board may be referring to is the recent split of the company into two divisions: Inprise, focusing on enterprise-scale application development and applications servers, and Borland.com, focussing on the Web and e-commerce tools.

In fact, the board is now evaluating the potential benefits of that move as part of a comprehensive strategic view and it's hired leading investment banking firm Hambrecht & Quist to help them do it. The company already expects to report a first quarter loss of about $0.54 to $0.56 a share, including one-time charges of $0.33 to $0.35 a share for restructuring and severance costs. Analysts had expected the company to break even.

Inprise is also searching for a new chief financial officer after the board asked for the resignation of Kathleen Fisher. The company did not specify the reason, but it is believed she was Yocam's right hand and left accordingly. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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