Commerce One cuts staff after poor results

Software company Commerce One has cut 40% of its staff and has hired a bank to explore the company's options, including a sale of...

Software company Commerce One has cut 40% of its staff and has hired a bank to explore the company's options, including a sale of some or all of its businesses.

Commerce One's grim news came late last week as it announced its third-quarter results, which included a 78% decline in revenue, from $23.4m in last year's third quarter to $5.7m this year. Services revenue contributed most of that total, with software licence fees bringing in $906,000.

In laying off 80 employees, Commerce One is now left with 116. It also placed non-essential employees on a two-week furlough last month.

At its peak, Commerce One had 3,700 employees and $400m in annual revenue, but the nine-year-old company never reached profitability, and has changed business models several times since going public in 1999.

The company initially focused on creating online business-to-business trading exchanges, but after dotcom enthusiasm for such markets faded, Commerce One shifted its focus to software development.

Its flagship product is a "composite process management" system for integrating applications and business processes throughout a network of customers and suppliers. 

Investment bank Broadview International is working with Commerce One on evaluating the company's options, including raising additional investment cash or selling assets.

Meanwhile, Commerce One is hunting for a new auditor after Ernst & Young handed in its resignation notice last month, which becomes effective once it finishes reviewing Commerce One's third-quarter regulatory filing.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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