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Stamps.com Trims More Staff, Welcomes New CEO

And the lean only get leaner.

Stamps.com, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based leader of Net-based postage, Friday made its third round of job cuts in less than a year and welcomed a new chief executive officer to the fold as part of a restructuring plan.

The struggling firm, which actually beat loss expectations in July (reporting a loss of 10 cents per share as opposed to First Call analysts estimates of 13 cents), said it would slash an already depleted staff an additional 25 percent and appointed the man who was presumably responsible for the skillful cost-cutting, Chief Financial Officer Ken McBride, as CEO and president.

Based on previous workforce cuts, approximately 30 more people were let go Friday.

McBride will take over for interim president and CEO Bruce Coleman, who came aboard in October 2000 for the company's first transitioning period. At that time, the firm trimmed 40 percent of its workforce only two weeks after its top shelf -- then CEO John Payne, president and COO Loren Smith, and CFO John LaValle resigned.

"Stamps.com remains committed to maximizing shareholder value. Today's employee reductions accelerate the company's timetable for achieving cash flow breakeven," said Stamps.com's McBride.

With the firm since April 1999, McBride holds master's degrees in both electrical engineering and business administration from Stanford University. McBride became CFO in October 2000 -- the same time Coleman took the top post -- and saw the firm through that month's cuts, and the subsequent 150 pink slips that were issued in Feb. 2001.

Stamps.com allows its approximately 300,000 customers to print U.S. Postal Service-approved postage via a computer and Internet connection. When the economy fared better, Stamps.com competed with Pitney Bowes and E-Stamp, which bottomed and sold its assets to Stamps.com this past April.

Stamps.com also got some attention when it sold its bread-and-butter iShip service to the United Parcel Service (UPS) in May to focus on its core mailing and shipping services for small businesses and home offices. iShip is a Web-based shipping solution that allows companies to centrally manage shipping activities across multiple carriers using only a Web browser.

Now solely dealing in Net postage, Stamps.com has said it is working a new product, called "NetStamps", which will allow customers to print stamps on a label or a sheet of labels. Stamps.com will also issue private-label stamps next year.