Maxtor loses fourth finance director in eight months

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Maxtor loses fourth finance director in eight months

In another round of executive turmoil at hard-disc drive maker Maxtor, chief executive and head of finance Paul Tufano has left the struggling company.

Tufano was promoted from finance director to chief executive in June 2003, with Robert Edwards becoming finance head. But Edwards resigned in March this year to join Safeway, and Theodore Hull took over as acting finance head. Michael Bless joined in August as the new chief finance officer.

But Bless lasted just a month and a half before resigning "for personal reasons". Either it was a catastrophically bad appointment or Bless did not like what he saw once he opened the company's books.

Tufano then became acting chief finance officer but has now left within a month. Maxtor chairman CS Park is acting chief executive while the company searches for a new chief executive and chief finance officer.

Maxtor lost $91m (£49m) last quarter and expects to lose a similar amount this quarter. It laid off 450 staff in the summer because costs were running ahead of revenue

Competitors Seagate and Western Digital have both reported tough trading conditions. PC and server hard drives are a commodity, but they are Maxtor's main source of revenue. Seagate and Western Digital also make 2.5in drives but Maxtor makes only 3.5in devices. It has no notebook or sub-notebook drives and is financially limited in its ability to move into these markets where its competitors are making the running.

Chris Mellor writes for Techworld


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