RealTime IT News

New Wave of Layoffs and Closures Hits Israeli Internet Companies

JERUSALEM - In a rapid-fire burst of painful moves, Israeli Interent and finance companies announced a series of high-profile layoffs and shutdowns in the last few days that in some cases is causing executive heads to roll.

High-speed Internet hardware developer Orckit is expected to lay off scores of workers, published reports said Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Versaware chief executive officer Harry Fox announced his resignation from the Jerusalem-based e-book company in an email to employees. In the letter, parts of which were obtained by israel.internet.com, Fox said that he and the board disagreed about the company's direction. Fox remains a major shareholder in the company, and said in his email that he hopes to return. The company declined to comment on Fox's email.

On Thursday, digital recording provider Nice Systems announced the resignation of its chairman and the firing of 220 workers, 20 percent of its workforce.

Also on Thursday, LanguageWare.net, formerly Accent Software, announced its liquidation, and Wholetree.com, its U.S. subsidiary, filed for bankruptcy liquidation in the U.S.

Furthermore, Israeli Internet startup accelerator THCG announced that it is in danger of being delisted from Nasdaq.

The liquidation of LanguageWare.net marked the end of a long road for the company. Founded in 1988 as Accent Software, the company had produced the popular Dagesh Hebrew world processing software, among others. AsLanguageWare.net, the company served as a translation software provider for Internet transactions.

THCG has been hit hard by the slump in the global Internet market. The company announced layoffs of 35 percent of its workforce in January. Last April, the company partially acquired Israeli investment banking firm Giza Group. The company originally listed on Nasdaq in November 1999.