Critical Path Inches Up After President, Others Laid Off

Critical Path (Nasdaq: CPTH) rose 8 U.S. cents to 95 cents in morning trading Wednesday, after announcing it will lay off 450 employees, including its president.

The San Francisco, California-based provider of Internet communications software said that the moves are part of a plan to “put the company back on the path to profitability.” The company said it will cut costs and focus on e-mail messaging services for the Internet and wireless markets.

President Diana Whitehead and Mari Tangredi, executive vice president of business development, sales and professional services, are among those being laid off, the company said.

Bill McGlashan, chief executive of technology investment firm Vectis Group, will serve as interim chief operating officer, and Amy Rao, chief executive officer of Integrated Archive Systems, will be interim vice president of sales.

The two will work with Critical Path founder David Hayden and chief financial officer Larry Reinhold to “carry out the strategic plan as quickly as possible,” Critical Path said.

The new management will “refocus on core products and jettison products that are not central to the company’s long-term growth strategy,” the company said. The restructuring will include closing some offices, as the company phases out operations that are not key to its Internet messaging infrastructure service.

A year ago, Critical Path shares traded at $87. Last week, the company restated downward its results for the third and fourth quarters of 2000, saying an investigation found the figures had been overstated.

The company is also the subject of class-action lawsuits filed by investors who bought shares when the price was higher.

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