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Stamps.com Loses Key Execs

Internet mailing and shipping services company Stamps.com Inc., trading near a 52-week low in its stock price, said today that its president is returning to his role as a board member and the CFO and comptroller have resigned.

The company did its best to put a good face on the news, issuing a statement from Chairman and CEO John Payne saying that "...people often seek assurances about the soundness of a company's financial and accounting procedures when key financial executives leave. There are no such issues in this situation."

"We remain very well positioned to continue the drive towards achieving our business objectives," he said.

Stamps.com said that Loren Smith, "who served as president and chief operating officer during a critical period of growth for the company," has returned to his primary role as a director.

Also, Chief Financial Officer John LaValle and Comptroller Candelario Andalon are leaving the company "to pursue other endeavors," Stamps.com said.

The company plans to fill all three positions.

The company's stock was trading at $3.46 at mid-morning, down 4.31 percent. The company's 52-week high is $98.50; the low is $3.43.

"When Loren agreed to take on the role of president and chief operating officer last October, Stamps.com was entering a crucial time of expansion and reorganization," said Payne. "We are grateful for his contributions that have helped grow Stamps.com into the clear leader in its space, and we are pleased he will continue in his original role as a member of our board."

About LaValle, Payne said: "As chief financial officer, he played a role in the execution of transactions in 1999 that raised significant capital for the company and resulted in our acquisition of iShip.com. We wish him well with his future endeavors."

Stamps.com is being sued for patent infringement by mailing machines company Pitney Bowes Inc. The company has called the suit baseless. Its stock sank 6 percent on the news last September, however.

Stamps.com operates three business units focused on providing e-services allowing small businesses, large corporations and e-commerce companies to manage their mailing, shipping and returns operations.