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VNU Net: Corel chief quits as problems mount

Aug 16, 2000, 18:52 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Geralds)

By John Geralds, VNU Net

Corel founder Michael Cowpland has resigned from his post as president, chief executive and chairman, after a string of major problems at the software company.

Cowpland will continue to serve as a director on the board and as a technology advisor, but will not be involved in Corel's operations, the company said in a statement.

Derek Burney, the company's executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer, was appointed interim chief executive and president.

Corel's recent problems have included losses and subsequent layoffs. Cowpland was also unable to close the takeover of development tools vendor Inprise/Borland, after shareholders in that company balked at the terms. Corel has seen its share price tumble from a 52-week high of $44 to less than $4.

The company has struggled in the Linux market. In its second financial quarter, Linux sales contributed only $2.6m to total revenue of $36.6m. Corel had projected sales of Linux software of $20m to $30m for the full year.

Cowpland is also still facing charges of insider trading. He allegedly used information about a lower than expected quarterly financial report for the third quarter of 1997 to sell 2.43 million shares of company stock for some $14m. Cowpland disputes the charges.

Corel's press release said Cowpland was to spend his time on "new startup opportunities".

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