The chief executive of troubled enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor, JD Edwards was in defiant mood today as the company begins to refocus on enterprise application integration services.
However Ed McVaney, who was reinstated as chief executive following Doug Massingill's sudden departure in April, said little about how the company would deliver such ebusiness software.
Speaking to analysts at the company's user conference taking place in Denver this week, McVaney admitted there are still organisational issues to be resolved, despite cutting 800 job cuts worldwide last month as part of a global restructuring effort.
He admitted that problems with product quality over the past 18 months have hampered the company's ability to make as much progress as he would have liked.
However, McVaney attempted to lighten the impact of recent management changes by quipping that his 18 months absence should be seen as time off. "I was a fried pup but today I feel like I can see things more clearly," he said.
He acknowledged that things had gone wrong in the past but said these problems were relatively easy to resolve, adding that he, "felt good about taking out those that were not producing".
McVaney also claimed the company has become "permissive" under Massingill's tenure. There appeared to be little management willingness to deal with tough problems and people were allowed to move around the company being unproductive. This confirms earlier reports that there were rifts in the upper levels of management.
"We messed up and our cost structure got out of line. I reckon the management actions in that time cost this company $100m," he said.
When asked if the changes and job losses have done the job they were intended, McVaney said: "We're re-invigorated. I think we should do this every year - maybe not lose 10 per cent - but to keep us on our toes."
Analysts were cautious of McVaney's assessment. Nigel Montgomery, analyst at AMR Research said it was a little early to judge McVaney's views, but Jyoti Banerjee, analyst at TBC Research, said: "There needs to be change in the senior sales ranks. They are still very much in the old school ERP. Ebusiness needs a different skill set."
Insiders agree. Mike Schmidt, JD Edwards' senior vice president ebusiness applications said: "Yes we have some recruiting and training to do. This kind of change doesn't happen overnight."
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