US internet consulting firm MarchFirst, which counts Microsoft as an investor, has lost three board level members of staff, including its chief executive and chief operating officer.
Robert Bernard, chairman and chief executive, Thomas Metz, president and chief operating officer and Joseph Bong, executive vice president of the company's client services group, have stepped down from their positions at the Chicago-based firm. The company did not disclose why the three decided to resign.
Steve Pollema, executive vice president of global operations, has replaced Metz as president, and a three-member executive committee has been formed to assist with the management transition, the company said.
In addition, MarchFirst has engaged recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International to assist in an immediate search for a new chief executive.
Despite a recent $12m interest-free loan from Microsoft and a $150m investment by equity firm Francisco Partners, the company has been under financial pressure.
Last month, MarchFirst posted a wider than expected loss of $73.2m in its fourth quarter, and lowered its sales estimates for the first quarter of fiscal 2001.
MarchFirst had earlier stated in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it needed approximately $50m in additional financing by the end of 2000 and another $50m in early 2001 to refinance its existing bank facilities and to meet the company's liquidity needs for the foreseeable future.
Since November, MarchFirst has laid off about 2100 employees, as it continued to cut costs and streamline operations. Through the reductions, the company has said it plans to save approximately $100m a year.
MarchFirst was created from technology consulting firm Whittman-Hart and internet marketing firm USWeb/CKS. The company has 68 offices with 7000 employees in 14 countries.
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