Directors Say Bye to buy.com

Troubled multi-category Internet retailer buy.com, still reeling from two
rounds of layoffs, said today that both of its directors from Softbank —
William L. Burnham and Scott Russell — have resigned.


“While Softbank Capital Partners remains fully supportive of the buy.com
management team, the time and effort required to manage our other investments
has expanded dramatically and it is impossible to give buy.com the attention
it deserves,” Burnham said.


The company, with its stock price bouncing around in the vicinity of its
52-week low of 21 cents a share, issued a statement quoting buy.com CEO James
Roszak as saying simply: “We thank both Scott and Bill for their
contributions and dedication to buy.com.”


Softbank owns 28 percent of buy.com’s outstanding shares.


Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based buy.com cut 10 percent of its staff on Feb. 2, and
followed that up by cutting
another 125 jobs
on Feb. 28, out of about 230 remaining positions.


The layoffs are part of a restructuring plan designed to reduce cash
operating expenses by about $29 million annually. Buy.com’s UK operation
already has been sold off.


The resignations of Burnham and Russell leave four open seats on the board of
directors. Buy.com announced two weeks ago that Jonathan Firestone, former
president of BBDO Minneapolis, and Charles Richion, a retired Hewlett-Packard
senior vice president, had resigned from the board.


Buy.com has billed itself as “The Internet Superstore” and claims to have
nearly a million SKUs in categories including computer hardware and software,
electronics, wireless products and services, books, sporting goods and office
supplies.


For the year ended last Dec. 31, buy.com posted a net loss of $133 million,
or $1.04 per share.

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