RealTime IT News

Sculley Leaves Buy.com Board

Former Apple Computer boss John Sculley has departed as a director at buy.com , but the e-tailer has added two new board members with expertise in marketing and supply chain management.

The multi-category Internet retailing company, which has seen its stock price go from a 52-week high of $33 to as little as $1.50, was trading down 12 cents at mid-morning at $1.53.

Buy.com named Jon Firestone and Sanat K. Dutta to the board, and did not say why Sculley was departing. A former CEO at Pepsi, Sculley was CEO of Apple Computer from 1983 through 1993 and became chairman in 1986.

Firestone has more than 30 years of experience as a senior marketing executive including serving as the CEO and president of ad agency BBDO's Minneapolis office as well as serving on the board of BBDO North America.

Dutta has more than 20 years of experience managing complex distribution and supply chain infrastructures. Most recently, he was president of Ingram Micro from October 1997 to March 1999. Prior to that he held executive positions with both American Express and Best Products.

"Our new directors ... add a wealth of knowledge and experience to our board in the areas of marketing and supply chain management," said Greg Hawkins, buy.com's chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe these two areas are critical to our taking buy.com to the next level, and I can't imagine better individuals to help us secure a leading position in the e-tailing space."

Buy.com stock was downgraded by Merrill Lynch & Co. last week to near-term "neutral" from near- term "accumulate" and long-term "neutral" from "accumulate." The actions came in the wake of the current round of difficulties facing e-tailers, as evidenced by the closing of Pets.com and MotherNature.com last week.

Like a number of other pure-play Internet retailers, buy.com has never made any money. For the six months ended June 30, net revenues rose 69 percent to $400.8 million, but net loss rose 40 percent to $66.5 million.

The company reported a pro forma net loss per share of 16 cents for the third quarter. Revenues for the third quarter were $190.2 million, up 19.6 percent versus $159.0 million in the third quarter of 1999.

Sculley had been a director since 1997. Over the last two years, John's valuable contributions as a director have proven of significant benefit to the company, and we will miss his experience on the board," said Hawkins in a statement.