Silicon Graphics' chief executive, Ed McCracken, has walked out after the company?s disastrous results and subsequent restructuring, which will lead to between 700 and 1,000 job losses worldwide.
After 13 years at the company, McCracken?s resignation was predicted but the manner of his departure seems to confirm rumours of a boardroom row over the redundancy of almost 10 per cent of the company?s workforce.
McCracken has agreed to stay at Silicon Graphics while the company?s board finds a new chairman and CEO, but said he is sure he wants to leave. "I?ve decided that now the right time for the company and for me personally to make a change," he said in a statement.
Sales head Gary Lauer, formally called executive vice president of worldwide field operations and president of the company?s world trade corporation, also resigned. Bo Ewald will serve as acting chief operating officer, in an expanded role overseeing product development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
Surprisingly, a statement confirming Lauer?s resignation quoted McCracken just before the CEO himself resigned, suggesting that McCracken?s resignation came very suddenly. Just hours before he resigned, McCracken said in the statement: "I?ve asked Bo to step into this broader operating role while we seek new leadership for the sales and marketing organisation. This assignment, in addition to Bo?s other duties running product development and manufacturing operations, ensures a hands-on approach to our core operations during this transition period."
When McCracken resigned later in the day, veteran board director James McDivitt said: "The board understands and respects Ed?s decision to change his role in the company at this time. We believe the company is addressing the operational issues that have affected its performance and want to express our support for the management team in implementing the company?s plans."
A source close to SGI said there has been a major power struggle and disagreement among the company?s directors in recent weeks as the pressure of poor sales has taken its toll. "There was a lot of gossip and conflicting hints about jobs," she said.
Last week, SGI delayed its restructuring and it was reported that McCracken was thinking about resigning (see Newswire, 28 October). The company continued its financial slump in Q1 1998 with a $37 million loss and the restructuring means it will suffer a $50 million charge in its current quarter. The company gave no indication about which countries or divisions would lose the most staff.
Analysts said the problems were rooted in SGI?s failure to win server business after the success of its workstation sales. They had predicted he would not have to resign and the poor results would lead to cost cutting and the loss of around 350 jobs.
Lauer joined SGI in 1988 and was responsible for building the company?s US sales operation. He was promoted to worldwide sales boss in July 1995.
Ceres, located in the asteroid belt, has a carbonaceous-rich upper crust, SwRI study claims
The spacecraft found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, known as hydroxyls, embedded in the rocky surface of the asteroid
The skeleton was unearthed more than 20 years ago in South Africa
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth