Red Brick Systems has undertaken a management reshuffle to try to boost growth, amid speculation that it is gearing up for acquisition.
The data warehousing software supplier has created an 'office of the president' to strengthen its operational management and promoted Phillip Fernandez, former senior vice president of products and services, to the newly created role of executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He will oversee all day-to-day operations apart from sales, which will now be looked after by Christopher Erickson, president, chief executive and chairman.
Margaret Brauns, vice president and chief financial officer, and Anthony Layzell, senior vice president of sales and marketing, have resigned to "pursue other interests" and will be replaced by Kristi Smith and Paul Rodwick respectively. Rodwick was former senior director of product management and will become vice president of marketing.
Other reshuffles include Ron Barale, former vice president of support and services, who becomes vice president of the platform products group, and Andy Priest, former director of worldwide professional services, who becomes vice president of solutions and services.
But investors on the Silicon Investor bulletin board were wary of the move.
One said: "For Red Brick to turn things around, which I doubt it can, management needs to do the following. Improve marketing: Red Brick has been terrible at this since the beginning. Establish strategic partnerships: Red Brick?s glory days were based on superior database technology for data warehouse applications. It has lost that edge. Position itself for acquisition: I don?t believe Red Brick will survive on its own. Perhaps CA would be interested."
A second agreed that at this stage, selling the company seemed the best choice. "They?ve been trying to turn it round for over a year. When the market window of opportunity is limited, that is an eternity. I bought the stock thinking it was a terrific value for the quality of the technology. I think I will hold out for a few more months, but this is getting ridiculous," he said.
The firm?s share price has plummeted from a high of nearly $11 in August last year to a low of about $4 now.
But Paul Rodwick said the reshuffle positioned the company for accelerated growth and amplified its strategy of becoming more a platform and application provider rather than simply a data warehouse technology supplier.
"Red Brick does need to be more visible and to impress on analysts and customers that there?s incredible value in the company, which is why I?m here. I disagree that other vendors are catching up with us and that our glory days are over though. We believe we have the expertise to step out of the crowd, but I can?t comment on acquisition or merger speculation," he said.
He added that the company was in the process of broadening its product strategy and had moved its Red Brick Formation data extraction, transformation and cleansing tools into beta last week, for shipment at the end of September.
The firm was also working on vertical market applications in the telecommunications, retail, finance and consumer packaged goods space and expected to ship product by the end of the year, he explained.
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