Copper Mountain Chairman Resigns

Copper Mountain Networks Inc.’s chairman resigned Wednesday as officials announced a shakeup of its upper management and 25 percent workforce reduction.

Chairman and Public Network Business Unit General Manager Joseph Markee resigned to pursue other opportunities. Rick Gilbert, president and chief executive officer, will take the helm as chairman.

Officials were sketchy on details of the layoffs, saying only 112 employees were informed this morning and told to pack up their things.

Also announced was a restructuring charge of $5-7 million to cover severance packages, outplacement and asset write offs, to be charged in the first quarter of 2001.

Steven Hunt, vice president of engineering, will take over as general manager of the public network business unit. It falls on Hunt’s shoulders to drum up more DSL equipment sales in the business sector.

John Creelman, chief financial officer, also left to pursue other opportunities, a move that puts Michael Staiger, vice president of business development, in charge of Copper Moutain’s financial operations.

The DSL equipment maker has been the unfortunate victim of an industry-wide breakdown in high-speed Internet deployment, a trend that started with the dissolution of broadband Internet service providers and ended with the scale back in deployment by many data competitive local exchange carriers (DLECs).

The uncertain DSL market makes it hard to determine when the company will be able to post a profit in 2001, and officials have already announced lower revenue forecasts for 2001.

Markee and Creelman are expected to leave by the end of March.

Shares of Copper Mountain dropped 3/32 on news of the cuts.

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